Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Former Rotorua man speaks of being stabbed six times in a random attack in Melbourne

Former Rotorua man Steen Locke survived multiple stab wounds that punctured his lung and vertebrae when he was attacked in Melbourne in 2015. Photo via News Corp
Former Rotorua man Steen Locke survived multiple stab wounds that punctured his lung and vertebrae when he was attacked in Melbourne in 2015. Photo via News Corp

A former Rotorua man has spoken about surviving a random attack in Melbourne in which he was stabbed six times by his attacker.

Steen Locke, then 24, was sitting with a female Kiwi friend at St Gilda Pier in Melbourne on February 7 last year when he glanced over at a man who appeared to be arguing with a woman.

The man, Dwayne Michael Byron, then 22, yelled to Locke: "What the f*** are you looking at?" before pulling a kitchen knife out and stabbing him six times, puncturing a lung and leaving a deep wound in Locke's neck.

Byron was today sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria to 12 years in prison with a nine-year non-parole period.

"After he yelled at me, I said nothing and turned back to mind my own business," Locke told the Herald.

"He ran up behind me, attacked me and then ran off.

"I got up, my friend took her jacket off and tried to stop the blood squirting out of my head, and we walked to the end of the pier and then I collapsed."

Fortunately, the pair were about 10 minutes away from a hospital. Doctors told Locke if he hadn't been able to be rushed there for emergency surgery he would have died.

"I have the blood clotting disease Von Willebrand which basically means I don't clot as easy as other people.

"I almost bled to death. If it had been much longer, I wouldn't be here."

Locke, a construction worker who has lived in Melbourne for about four years, spent six days in hospital.

He was off work for two months and ultimately had to become a machine operator because his injuries left him unable to do physical work.

"I'm fit and healthy now so I'm pretty lucky. I still live in St Kilda now and frequent the area where it happened most weekends.

"I'm always watching over my shoulder when I'm out and about."

Byron pleaded not guilty to the attack and Locke believed he showed no remorse for the attack.

"He smirked the whole time I was giving evidence...

"I had a better outlook on society beforehand. For someone to do that to you for no reason makes you question people's morals.

"I'm glad he has a hefty sentence. I hope he gets some rehabilitation in that time because he is no good to the community as he is."

The ordeal had been tough on his family, particularly his mother, who lives in Papamoa.

"Getting that phone call... worrying I wouldn't survive and then the anger that someone could do that to someone that they loved."

The court heard how Byron had a traumatic childhood and was homeless by the age of 11.

He has served almost 600 days in pre-sentence custody, where he is being held in tight security after assaults on prison officers.

- NZ Herald

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