court file

Man who stabbed ex-mate says he was wrongly convicted

A HERVEY Bay man who was convicted of grievous bodily harm after stabbing a former friend in the jaw has taken his case to Queensland's highest court in a bid to overturn his conviction.

Earlier this year David Matthew Butterworth was convicted after a jury found him guilty of grievous bodily harm after he used scissors and a knife in a stabbing attack at Pialba after he and his former friend were involved in an argument.

Following his conviction, Butterworth was sentenced to jail for 61/2 years and will be eligible for parole in January 2019.

Barrister John McInnes represented Butterworth at the Queensland Court of Appeal on Wednesday and said there had been a miscarriage of justice against his client.

He said the crux of Butterworth's defence case at the trial was that the victim had falsely named Butterworth as his attacker.

Mr McInnes said the defence team aimed to attack the victim's credibility but that they were not able to do this properly because they were not able to cross-examine the victim about his criminal record.

He said the jury would have had a different view of the victim if they knew about his criminal history.

"His credit was essential to the case, no other evidence identified (Butterworth) as the person who inflicted the wounds,” Mr McInnes said.

He said the judge made an error and deprived Butterworth of that line of attack in his defence case.

Mr McInnes said if they were able to cross-examine the victim, defence lawyers would have been able to rebut the victim's claim that he was naive and was "put upon at that young age to commit offences” by Butterworth.

"When in fact his history suggests offending from quite a young age on his part as well,” Mr McInnes said.

During the court of appeal hearing, there were discussions about whether lawyers were able to bring up the victim's previous offences where no convictions had been recorded against him.

The court heard only one offence on the victim's criminal history had had a conviction recorded.

The court of appeal has reserved its decision and will deliver a judgment at a future date.


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