Knife wielder made threats to kill

By Anna Ferrick

A man appeared in court yesterday and pleaded guilty to threatening a member of the public with a knife in central Hastings earlier this year.

Satya Gounder, 52, appeared in Hastings District Court yesterday where he initially planned to defend charges of assault, threatening to kill and possessing an offensive weapon.

One witness, who works in a local business, said he saw Gounder cycling down Heretaunga St West about 2.30pm on Tuesday, June 18, leaving a trail of knocked-over street signs in his wake.

He said Gounder then disappeared down an alleyway behind Big Save Furniture before emerging in a carpark where he became involved in an argument with a man who had pulled over in his ute.

Another witness said during the argument Gounder told the driver of the ute to "wait five minutes" before running over towards a nearby loading dock and pulling a knife out of his backpack.

He said Gounder then returned to confront the driver of the ute and was making "slashing" and "slicing" movements with the knife.

"He was threatening to kill him and cut him up with his knife."

A police summary of facts said Gounder continued towards the driver of the ute as he was backing away, getting to within about a metre of the man.

The driver of the ute appeared in court yesterday and said he "feared for his life" during the altercation.

When questioned about the knife he said it was "decent" in size.

"If it went through me it would have been the end of me."

Witnesses said Gounder then disappeared down the side of a store and was out of their view for a short time.

During this time he managed to dispose of the knife.

The driver of the ute and other witnesses followed Gounder as he tried to leave the scene.

The driver of the ute tackled Gounder and restrained him until police arrived.

When questioned about following Gounder the man said he did it to stop him from threatening anyone else.

Defence counsel, Cliff Church, said his client did not have a knife and was acting in self defence. Mr Church asked why the ute driver tackled Gounder, saying it was an act of "aggression".

The man responded: "Aggression so I could control someone with a knife."

Judge Geoff Rea advised Mr Church to take further instruction from his client after two independent witnesses alleged a knife was in fact pulled by Gounder during the altercation. Gounder then changed his pleas to guilty.

He had previously pleaded guilty to cannabis charges and disorderly behaviour.

He was remanded in custody to reappear for sentencing on all matters in October.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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