Man stabbed after ‘beating his chest like Tarzan’ and demanding ‘gear’

Guilty plea: A man is facing court on a charge of recklessly causing serious injury after stabbing a man. Photo by AAP Photo

A man allegedly punched another man several times before stabbing him after the victim approached with a plank of wood, “beating his chest” and demanding “gear”, a court has heard.

Steven Nathan Tennant, 33, of Seymour, pleaded guilty in the County Court to recklessly causing serious injury.

Prosecutor Philip Teo told the court the complainant was “drunk and yelling” as he hit a gate of a house in Morrish Crt, Seymour, with a log he picked up while walking through the bush at 4am on August 7, 2019.

The court was told Tennant and two other men came out of a nearby house and, when he sighted them, the man made demands for “gear” and threatened to bash the men.

Concerned, Tennant punched the man in the head “at least six times”, before one of the other men handed Tennant a knife and he stabbed the man five times, Mr Teo said.

He said the prosecution alleged Tennant “did not intend the result of a serious injury, but engaged in voluntary conduct with reckless disregard to whether or not it would cause a serious injury”.

Tennant and the three other men ran off and the victim sought help at a nearby house.

The court heard the victim had a partially collapsed lung and was flown to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.

Other injuries included lacerations to his kidney, spleen, liver and diaphragm.

In an interview, Tennant told police the victim was banging his hands on his chest saying ‘I’m mad Borrie’ and had threatened to bash them.

Tennant told police he had hit the man to stop him, before grabbing an ornamental knife his friend had around his neck and stabbing him as the man walked towards his friend.

Defence barrister James Anderson told the court his client had remorse over the incident, and that it was “a notch above self-defence”.

He read parts of the police interview that had Tennant saying “I’ve had my head down since this happened. There is nothing nice about it”.

Mr Anderson said the victim had come through the bush like a hurricane, said ‘I’m mad Borrie’, threatened to bash them and was demanding drugs.

“This is a situation which is violent and threatening and created a sense of emergency and it has all come from (the victim),” Mr Anderson said.

“He (the defendant) was confronted in a residential street by a man acting in a crazed manner.

“He was a big man, drumming on his chest like Tarzan and demanding gear. It would have been terrifying.

“It’s not a case where one could conclude if they simply turned away, all would have been resolved.”

While agreeing that his client’s actions were “disproportionate”, Mr Anderson said the use of the knife was “a last resort” and was only because he had “exhausted all other avenues”.

However, Mr Teo said it was agreed that the victim had approached one of the other men, but that he had thrown the wood away and did not retaliate to the punches.

“He has not thrown any punches or attempted to harm them,” he said.

“You’ve got a man who has not done anything but stand around drunkenly, beat his chest and said some words.

“It is not self-defence or a notch above self-defence.”

Tennant will be sentenced in February.