Lydiard Street stabber pleads guilty

A MOUNT Clear man who was high on a cocktail of ice and cocaine when he stabbed two men after a CBD brawl, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges relating to the incident. 

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Kyle Auchettl, 26, pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally causing serious injury and one charge of intentionally causing injury after he slashed one victim’s neck and stabbed another in the back. 

A County Court sitting in Ballarat heard that at 5am on December 9, 2012, Auchettl and a group of friends became involved in a brawl with another group, which included the two victims, close to the Lydiard Street North taxi rank. 

Crown prosecutor Patrick Bourke said as the violence de-escalated one group got into a maxi taxi. 

The court heard Auchettl ran past and slashed the victim’s neck as he stood in the door of the taxi.

Auchettl’s defence lawyer, Neil Hutton, described the wound as “millimetres away from disaster”. 

As the brawl continued, Auchettl saw his friend being kicked unconscious by another man, who he approached from behind and stabbed in the back. 

Auchettl was captured by CCTV leaving the scene and was later caught by police with a bloodied hoodie stuffed down his trousers. 

Mr Hutton said the act was out of character for Auchettl, blaming the incident on the concoction of drugs he had taken.

“He had in the past used amphetamines, but that night he had taken cocaine and smoked ice,” he said. 

Mr Hutton said Auchettl was extremely lucky to not be pleading guilty to two murder charges in the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

Handing up a picture of the victims’ injuries to Judge Paul Grant, Mr Hutton said “each of the injuries had the potential to be disastrous”.

Mr Hutton said while the injuries were bad – the victim stabbed in the back spent three days in hospital and had a lung drained – they didn’t have long-term physical impacts for the victims. 

Auchettl had approached two police officers outside JD’s Sports Bar to help break up the fight, but they declined, according to Mr Hutton. 

He said Auchettl carried the knife as he had previously been threatened via social media from a member of the other group in the brawl.

In revoking Auchettl’s bail before sentencing him on Thursday, Judge Grant said “the message has to be, if you carry a knife you pay for it”.

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