Sandra Conchie

Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Man sentenced for stabbing neighbour over missing trees

Lacoda Grabham surrendered to police on after a man was stabbed at a property on Mountain Road, Oropi. Photo / BPT
Lacoda Grabham surrendered to police on after a man was stabbed at a property on Mountain Road, Oropi. Photo / BPT

An Oropi man who stabbed his neighbour three times during a heated dispute over missing trees and tyres being let down, has been sentenced to eight months' home detention.

Lacoda Grabham, 19, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday having earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Grabham also received 200 hours' community work and was ordered to pay $1000 for emotional harm to the 46-year-old complainant.

The victim received two deep wounds to his lower back and another stab wound to his leg during the confrontation which occurred in Mountain Rd about 1.30pm on March 22.

The heated argument and ensuing fight occurred after the complainant confronted Grabham about some trees having been chopped down at their jointly owned Mountain Rd properties.

The argument escalated when the complainant confirmed he had let some car tyres down.

Grabham picked up an axe and threatened the complainant with it.

The two began fighting before Grabham ran back to his house and got two sharp knives from the kitchen, climbed a fence and confronted the other man.

Another fight ensued and during their struggle, the complainant was stabbed three times.

Grabham's lawyer Tony Balme told Judge Peter Rollo there was a third incident between his client and the neighbour, in which the latter at one stage had chased Grabham after he tried to run off.

Mr Balme said Grabham had accepted what he did was wrong and he hoped a restorative justice meeting could have taken place between him and the victim so they could have made their respective apologies, but that did not happen.

Grabham was genuinely remorseful and offered to pay $1000 to his victim, he said.

Judge Rollo told Grabham, a first-time offender before the courts: "This is exactly the reason why people should not arm themselves with weapons, as it can easily lead to serious injury, or death."

Judge Rollo said the complainant suffered extreme pain and ongoing effects but fortunately there was no damage to internal organs, and it was due to all these circumstances that he was willing to step back from a prison sentence.

"The real measure of a man is how you deal with this going forward, particularly how you redeem yourself with your family and the wider community," the judge told Grabham.

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