Mangerton knifeman claims self-defence

A Mangerton man who stabbed another man in the stomach during a heated argument was acting in self-defence, a court has heard.

Damien Byrne, 34, readily admitted in Wollongong Local Court yesterday that he wielded the knife that penetrated the man's stomach on the afternoon of September 30.

However, he said he would be entering a not guilty plea to a single charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, on the basis that he had been actively defending himself from the other man's attack at the time.

Making a bid for bail yesterday, Byrne's lawyer, Matt Russoniello, said his client had not intended to stab the man when he ventured outside before the confrontation.

The court heard Byrne had been inside his home when he heard yelling and banging coming from directly outside the public housing unit and went to investigate.

Byrne allegedly confronted a woman who was standing nearby with a bottle of port, saying to her: "I told youse (sic) not to drink around here no more" before grabbing the bottle from her and tipping out the contents.

The male victim then appeared from around the side of the building and told Byrne to leave the woman alone.

The pair got into a heated argument, during which Byrne allegedly picked up a long piece of wood and the other man armed himself with long neck glass beer bottles.

It is alleged the victim threw multiple bottles at Byrne before Byrne pulled out an eight-centimetre flick knife and stabbed him in the torso, causing a three-centimetre wide wound near the stomach area.

A witness helped the victim to a nearby unit and called emergency services, while Byrne immediately left the location and made his way to a house in Unanderra.

Later that afternoon Byrne handed himself into police and participated in a lengthy recorded interview and walk-through of the incident at the scene.

He allegedly told police during the interview that he'd picked up the knife in the hope that it would scare the victim away, but said he had not gone outside intending to stab the man.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused to release Byrne from custody, noting he had multiple offences on his record for carrying knives in public places.

He also said Byrne had previously spent time in jail for committing violent offences, including threatening a witness. The matter returns to court on January 15.

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