Man who stabbed 15-year-old ‘bully’ appeals sentence

AN 18-YEAR-OLD who stabbed a Coffs Harbour boy he suspected of throwing rocks at his house has been denied a reduction to his prison sentence on appeal.

Damien James Kennedy was sentenced to six years and six months in prison, with no chance of parole for three years and six months for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

NSW Court of Appeals Justice Robert Hulme said the 15-year-old victim was visiting family in West Kempsey near Kennedy's home when the attack occurred in February 2014.

The boy and his friends walked to Kennedy's house about 9.30pm and taunted him, challenging him to come outside.

The court heard Kennedy came out with a knife in his hand and said, "Who wants to fight?" before approaching the boy.

"If you put the knife down I'll fight you," the boy responded.

Justice Hulme said Kennedy punched the boy in the left eye, splitting his eyebrow, and chased him down the street when he tried to walk away.

He hit the boy again, pushed him into a fence and stabbed him twice - once in the upper right arm and once in the lower left side of his chest.

The boy walked away with blood spurting from his chest wound and spoke to someone on the street who called an ambulance.

"Am I going to die?" he asked.

He underwent surgery and was found to have a 6cm cut to his chest through which his lung was visible.

Hospital records said his injuries were "of a serious (kind) and posed a significant life threat".

Kennedy was arrested that night and taken to Kempsey Police Station where he complained of a swollen and sore hand.

During a police interview, he admitted to chasing and punching the boy but denied he had a knife.

He later pleaded guilty.

The court heard Kennedy came from a disadvantaged background, was "a very young man of 18 at the time of the offence" and had suffered significant bullying since he was a child.

On appeal, Justice Hulme rejected Kennedy's argument the sentence was excessive.

"Stabbing someone in the chest is so obviously dangerous that (Kennedy) could not but have known of that fact," Justice Hulme said.

"As an 18-year-old he could not but have also known what a knife with a 10cm blade could do - a fact amply demonstrated by (Kennedy), as he said, carrying the knife for protection." -ARM NEWSDESK



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