Mika Masaki Marino
From the Daily News March 4th 2005
A 17-year-old woman accused of stabbing another woman in the back with a butcher's knife abandoned her self-defence argument on the second day of her trial. Mika Masaki Marino, a Hamilton student, admitted the stabbing but pleaded not guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the first day of the two-day trial in New Plymouth District Court. On Wednesday, day two of the trial, Marino gave evidence that, when in her mother's house, she had tried to punch a woman but missed and stabbed her with the knife she was carrying.
Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich immediately told the court Marino's testimony offered "no evidential basis for self-defence". He said there was no need to cross-examine the defendant as she had accepted the facts of the stabbing. Judge Louis Bidois said he intended to instruct the jury to convict as a result but offered defence lawyer Julian Hannam a chance to converse with his client, after which she changed her plea to guilty. She will be sentenced on March 24.
From the Daily News March 26th 2005
Resorting to a butcher's knife in the midst of a Patea fight has cost a Patea student three years in prison. Mika Masaki Marino (18) was sentenced to a jail term of three years and three months on Thursday, after admitting a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Marino sat in the New Plymouth District Court dock fighting back tears as defence counsel Julian Hannam and Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich argued their points to Judge Louis Bidois.
The charge stemmed from a fight in May last year between the defendant and her mother and two girls who drove up to their house and started threatening them. After her mother initially assaulted the pair, Marino returned to the house then went back to the scuffle with a large kitchen knife in her back pocket. When pushed to the ground, she pulled out the knife and stabbed one of her assailants in the back. The victim was hospitalised but released a day later.
Mr Marinovich and Judge Bidios spent some time tossing the concept of premeditation between them. "What does it mean to put a butcher's knife in your back pocket?" Judge Bidois mused. Mr Marinovich added that Marino had put the victim through extra anguish by not pleading guilty until the last stages of a two-day jury trial. Judge Bidois admitted that was an aggravating factor, but acknowledged that Marino was struggling coming to terms with her crime.
"I think she just couldn't accept in her mind that she did this," he said. Mr Hannam admitted it was only good fortune that the knife did not hit a vital organ, but said that Marino had acted impulsively and was provoked by the fact her mother was being beaten up. Judge Bidois said the fact that the stabbing had been while the victim had her back turned put it at the higher end of the scale. He acknowledged Marino's continual remorse and said he was disappointed that she had not pleaded guilty earlier. "She could have saved herself a year."
Date of Birth
1987 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 3 years 3 months in March 2005
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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