"One Direction" taunt in Ballarat stabbing: court

A VERBAL stoush in which one group of men referred to another group as pop band One Direction ended in an alleged double stabbing late last year, a court has heard.

Two Ballarat men were left with stab wounds after a fight broke out near the Lydiard Street North taxi rank about 5am on December 9 last year. 

The man charged over the double stabbing, Kyle Auchettl, 26, of Burnside Heights, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday for the start of a two-day committal hearing. 

Several witnesses from both groups involved in the fight told magistrate Cynthia Toose that although they saw a man in a grey “hoodie” run past one of the victims and appear to punch him, they couldn’t be sure it was Auchettl. 

Auchettl is charged with affray and two counts of intentionally causing serious injury. 

Several witnesses told the court Auchettl was never part of the original fight, which broke out near the gold museum, when one group called the other group One Direction.

Witnesses also said he wasn’t seen near a second fight that broke out at the taxi rank after one group of men in a maxi taxi began spitting on members of the other group.

The court heard one man, who was standing in the door of the maxi taxi, received a cut to the neck when an unidentified man ran past and seemed to “punch” him. 

A witness said the man who appeared to punch the victim then ran towards Sturt Street before turning around, throwing his arms in the air and yelling: “Come on boys, let’s do it.”

The court heard that a short time later another man received a blow to his back while he was allegedly kicking an unconscious man in the head. 

The second victim, who is also facing charges for his part in the incident, said he felt a “sensation” on his back and realised he had been stabbed when he felt blood. 

The committal hearing continues today.

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