Carpark stabbing victim almost died from 'sword' wound
A MAN involved in a fist fight in a carpark on a Saturday night felt what he thought was a punch to his chest and found blood when his hand reached to the spot.
He'd been stabbed with a 'sword' through the chest with an exit wound in his back.
This is what crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke told Rockhampton District Court during the sentencing of the attacker - Tristan Malcolm Litzow - yesterday.
Litzow, who had been convicted twice of possessing a knife in a public place, pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm.
The stabbing took place in the Gladstone Night Owl centre on October 7 after the victim and Litzow, 23, became involved in a fist fight about 9pm.
The victim - Tristan Hindmarsh - lost three litres of blood, underwent emergency surgery before being flown to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and was placed in a coma for 20 days.
Ms O'Rourke said the men were known to each other - Litzow was in a relationship with the victim's former partner.
Defence barrister Tom Polley said Mr Hindmarsh had sent Litzow nasty text messages the day before, including one about desecrating Litzow's father's grave and urinating on it.
He said Mr Hindmarsh turned up on the doorstep earlier in the day on October 7 and there were threats made then.
Ms O'Rourke said Litzow had threatened Mr Hindmarsh after the texts through friends saying "he's dead next time I see him".
However, the court heard Litzow did not seek Mr Hindmarsh out. They crossed paths at the Night Owl Centre and Litzow called out to Mr Hindmarsh before the fist fight.
"The victim felt the defendant hit him in the chest," Ms O'Rourke said.
"He has put his hand to his chest. It was wet with blood."
Photographs tendered in court showed drops of blood on the footpath.
The court heard Mr Hindmarsh drove home before an ambulance took him to Gladstone Hospital.
"He was stabbed in the right chest wall, penetrated diagonally, piercing to his back," Ms O'Rourke said.
"Without medical intervention, he would have died from blood loss or blood inside the lung."
She said police did not find the weapon, but Mr Hindmarsh described it as being a 30-40cm long sword.
The court heard Litzow also left the scene and was later found at his uncle's house after they called the police together.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said it was only because of good fortune that Mr Hindmarsh survived the stabbing.
"It is miraculous that he managed to get himself away from the scene," he said.
"You are lucky you didn't kill him."
Mr Polley said Litzow took the desecration of his father's grave to heart as his father had died only a year before.
He said Litzow had a brain tumour removed when he was four years old and feared the disease would return.
Mr Polley said his father had died from a brain tumour and his uncle had since been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Litzow cared for his father for the two years before his death.
Judge Horneman-Wren ordered Litzow to a 5.5 year prison term. After already serving 485 days in jail he will be eligible for parole on August 8, 2019.