Ahad John Nabi
Background from THE PRESS June 2005
The feelings of a stabbing victim blinded in one eye have resulted in a lesser sentence for his assailant. In the Christchurch District Court yesterday, Ahad John Nabi was jailed for two years and nine months for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and driving with excess breath-alcohol. Judge David Holderness said the sentence included a discount of six months because of the victim's forgiving attitude. Nabi, 20, had broken glass in the door of a central Christchurch flat on September 4 and stabbed the man in the right eye with a sharp weapon after he investigated the break-in.
The judge said the victim's vision had been reduced to 20 per cent in the good eye, and he faced total blindness. "It was a highly likely consequence the victim would suffer a serious wound as a result of a knife or the pointed end of a fence paling thrust at his face," he said. Speaking to the court yesterday, the victim said he did not blame Nabi for the incident, and considered he was a young man who was easily led. There had been considerable reconciliation between him and Nabi's wider family. The judge said the victim's sympathetic stance was not altogether borne out by the circumstances.
It seemed Nabi started the incident by breaking glass in the window of the flat, and his impression from viewing the police video interview was that Nabi showed little remorse. Remorse was not apparent in a letter Nabi wrote to the court implying the victim was a well-known criminal who was lucky to escape prosecution for a serious offence. This caused the sentencing to be deferred and in a second letter Nabi admitted the first was unwise and asked the court to put it aside, the judge said. Lawyer Colin Eason said Nabi mishandled the situation at the flat, with results he never intended. He had spent 10 months in custody, giving him time to reflect, as had his family.The family accepted there was a need for change. There was no real evidence a knife was used, and the extent of injury could not have been foreseen.
The family and Nabi expressed deep regret to the victim and had made amends as far as possible, Eason said. Prosecutor Deidre Orchard said it was clear a knife must have been used and not a fence paling, from witness evidence. The occupants of the flat felt justifiably scared after the attack. The only mitigating feature was the victim's forgiving attitude, which should be taken into account, Orchard said. The judge said in his view a knife was used. Aggravating factors included that Nabi had two previous convictions for assault with a weapon. He had been on bail at the time for possessing an offensive weapon, a charge he still denied. His young age had to be taken into consideration. The excess breath-alcohol offence was Nabi's fourth, and warranted a cumulative sentence. He was also disqualified from driving for a year.
Date of Birth
Stabbed a Christchurch man in the eye without provocation in September 2004
Also two previous convictions for assault with a weapon and drunk driving. Was out on bail for possessing an offensive weapon at the time.
Sentenced to 2 years 9 months in June 2005
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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