A man who stabbed a Christchurch couple in a frenzied attack has lost an appeal to have his jail time reduced.

But Christopher Barrie Story has won a legal argument to cut the reparations he was due to pay his victims, from $5000 each to just $500 each.

The victims, whose identities have been protected by the courts, will received $10 a week over the next year from the 21-year-old who has devastated their lives.

The Hornby couple, both stabbed by Story with an army-style knife with a 10cm blade, no longer feel safe in their home, suffer sleepless nights, and spent many weeks in rehabilitation.

Advertisement

The wife, "savagely" stabbed six times, could no longer spend time with grandchildren, or perform day-to-day household chores after the night attack, which was stopped only when her teenage son threw a pot-plant at Story, which hit him in the head.

But now, eight months after Story was jailed for six years, nine months, he won his appeal to have the compensation to the victims reduced by $9000.

He was originally ordered by a judge to pay each victim $5000.

But the Court of Appeal has ruled that he pay each victim just $500 at a paltry rate of $10 per week.

Judge Simon France ruled that despite the "undoubted emotional harm suffered by the victims", a total of $10000 reparation was too high and "unrealistic" given Story had been unemployed before the attack, and will spend at least three and a half years in jail.

The judge said that the gross reduction "does not seek to diminish the suffering" of the victims, but provide "some small redress" to them while at the same time avoid protracted payments or even a default on the payback.

And the payments will only begin once Story is released from jail - not likely to be until at least 2015.

The couple were not available for comment yesterday.

Advertisement

The attack happened while the victims were asleep in their suburban Hornby home in the early hours of February 11, 2011.

Story was at a party next door and sneaked onto their property around 2.40am to steal a pot plant.

Their couple and their 19-year-old son were disturbed by the noise they went outside and heard him laughing about his heist.

The husband yelled out asking why he was stealing the pot plant, while his wife phoned the police.

Story approached the man, pulled out the large knife, and lunged at him.

The man avoided the blow and he, his wife, and son went back into their property.

Story followed them and attacked the wife, stabbing her six times.

The man got Story in a headlock, but was stabbed in the shoulder.

The 19-year-old son threw a pot plant at Story, hitting him in the head and ending the attack.

Story told police he had lost self-control because the family told him he was worthless.

Defence counsel Kerry Cook told Christchurch District Court last year during sentencing that the attack was unexplained, unprovoked and seriously violent, but immediately regretted.

Crown prosecutor Sally Carter said it was a particularly nasty incident which had had a lasting effect on both the victims.

The woman received a punctured lung, and muscle damage to her chest, and spent six days in hospital.

The man's stab wound went through his shoulder and exited by his armpit and he was in hospital for two days.

Their victim impact reports said the wife had physical therapy twice a week, and had limited movement. She could not sleep and had to take drugs to control the pain.

The man lost five weeks' work, and both said they did not feel safe and their children were upset and scared.

Judge Stephen Erber said Story was being sentenced after admitting two charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.

The judge said the victims could easily have been killed.

He said Story's probation report said he was intellectually slow, and had been bullied at school.