Jailed for stabbing family friend

HE DID a runner from a court-sanctioned residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre after just one day to attend his sister's funeral, but Cory Stephenson sniffed the free air and never went back.

This week the long arm of the law caught up with the 32-year-old Lismore Heights pensioner in the Lismore District Court, when he was convicted and jailed for stabbing a family friend in a drunken dispute over food.

Stephenson, 32, who admits to long-term drug and alcohol problems, pleaded guilty to maliciously wounding Ian Bolt at 1am on September 5, 2007; causing actual bodily harm; and destroying property.

Stephenson told police there had been ‘a whole heap of people ... and we had a big drink'.

“It was just a deadest drunken accident. I don't know where the knife came from. I just ended up with it,” he told police.

Police facts stated a group of family and friends had been drinking heavily at Stephenson's former Goonellabah home when he became upset after finding Mr Bolt helping himself to food in an upstairs kitchen.

During the argument Stephenson punched his sister Nicole in the mouth before punching a glass oven door causing it to shatter.

When Mr Bolt said to him ‘let's take this outside', Stephenson grabbed a kitchen knife and moments later Mr Bolt was stabbed in the neck and shoulder.

Defence barrister Simon Priestley said his client was so drunk at the time he could remember the dispute, but did not remember actually stabbing Mr Bolt, or why he would have wanted to do so.

Mr Priestley said Stephenson was grateful the wounds had not been worse or the stab wounds deep, and he argued the wounds were at the low end of seriousness for a malicious wounding charge.

He said a medical report revealed his client suffered black-outs from drinking so much.

“His entire criminal history has a background of alcoholism. All reports say that if he deals with the alcohol problem then (the courts) probably won't see him again,” Mr Priestley said.

Mr Priestley said his client absconded from rehab in September last year after less than 24 hours because he wanted to attend his sister Nicole's funeral. He was not re-arrested until January.

Judge James Black sentenced Stephenson to three years' jail, backdated to December last year, and ordered him to serve at least 27 months before being eligible for parole on March 20, 2012.

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