News

Man jailed over vicious knifing of man drinking with ex-wife

WILD with anger, Douglas Paul Piper repeatedly strikes his 61-year-old victim with an 18cm paring knife.

Horrified, his ex-wife looks on.

As blood pools on the Blackall pub floor, Piper backs away and drops the weapon.

"The police know where to find me."

The graphic CCTV footage is hard to stomach.

It was played yesterday in the Rockhampton Supreme Court, as Justice Duncan McMeekin determined an appropriate sentence for Piper.

The 57-year-old man initially pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted murder, but changed this to guilty when the charge was downgraded to grievous bodily harm.

Moments before the attack on September 29 last year, the victim and Piper's ex-wife had been enjoying a beer at the Prince of Wales Hotel - a beer they never got to finish.

The court heard Piper thought the two were in a romantic relationship, despite the pair insisting they were just friends.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Phillips said Piper and his wife had separated some months before the attack.

Mr Phillips tendered the weapon in court, which still has blood near the hilt.

He said this suggested the knife had gone all the way in.

The court heard the victim suffered six stab wounds, the most serious of which was a 5cm wound to the neck.

Mr Phillips said the man's injuries would have endangered his life if they weren't treated.

He said that later that evening Piper phoned Police Link from his home and assured them he wouldn't hurt the officers when they came to arrest him.

Defence barrister Phil Hardcastle told the court his client "just exploded".

He said if he planned to do a "proper job" he would have used a larger knife.

However, Mr Phillips said a smaller knife was easier to conceal.

Regardless, Mr Hardcastle said Piper was extremely remorseful.

The court heard he had no criminal history.

Justice McMeekin described the attack as "cowardly and unprovoked".

He said a victim impact statement suggested the victim continued to suffer psychological difficulties.

"He was a happy, friendly person, now he can't enjoy that life," he said.

"The simple reality is you're lucky you didn't kill him."

Piper was sentenced to seven years' jail.

He has already served 10 months and will be eligible for parole on October 1, 2016.

Topics:  editors picks knife rockhampton supreme court stabbing



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