An out-of-control party on the South Coast among workmates led to a young Oak Flats dad stabbing his colleague in the buttocks and ribs six times, seriously injuring him, but not enough to stop him from drinking a beer and smoking a 'joint' before paramedics arrived.
Jamie Keegan, 25, was sentenced in Wollongong District Court on Tuesday for one charge of wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for his role in a blood-soaked stabbing that occurred in Narooma on May 19, 2022.
At the time, Keegan and his colleagues at a scaffolding business were working on a project at Narooma Public School.
The workmates had rented a house nearby while working on site, and after finishing work on Thursday, May 19, Keegan and the victim went to Narooma Pub.
The group drank and ate at the pub before leaving separately, but all arrived at the rented home around 10.30pm.
There, the group began to drink more and both Keegan and the victim smoked joints of marajuana.
According to tendered court documents, by 11.30pm the victim thought that some of the party guests were "on the pipe", as he could detect a chemical smell, and had their "eyes popping out of their heads and were chewing their jaws".
The group were sitting on the back balcony and the victim asked Keegan and another co-worker to turn down the volume. This enraged Keegan, who said to the victim "I'll do you, you f---ing dickhead".
The victim then challenged Keegan to fight him out the front of the house, before he took his shirt off and walked out, followed by Keegan.
As Keegan headed out the door he grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen. The group followed as the threats between the two men intensified before they lunged and began hitting each other.
The victim tackled Keegan to the ground before grabbing the hood of his jumper, but after Keegan yelled at him to get off, the man released the hoodie.
During the scuffle, Keegan stabbed the other man six times, however it was only once the fight was broken up and the man headed back inside that he realised he was losing a lot of blood.
The man and guests called triple-zero and used towels and cling wrap to staunch the bleeding.
While this was happening, Keegan continued to yell at the injured man, saying "I hope you bleed out" and at one point punched him in the head.
The man faded in and out of consciousness, vomiting on himself, but smoked a joint and drank one beer before paramedics arrived.
Once police were on scene, the victim identified Keegan as his attacker. The next day, police returned and arrested Keegan. Police investigators found blood stains inside and outside the house and a knife matching the description given by the man.
Keegan earlier pleaded not guilty, however admitted his guilt just prior to his trial date.
The victim was airlifted to Canberra hospital where he was treated for two stab wounds to his left abdomen and three wounds to his right buttock and one on his left, each two to three centimetres in length.
In sentencing Keegan, Judge Andrew Haesler said either "by good luck or good management" the victim suffered no wounds more serious than scarring.
Keegan, however, was not so lucky, being on a community corrections order for driving while disqualified a month early, his fifth significant driving offence.
Defence barrister Zaid Khan said his client had taken steps towards rehabilitation while on remand, including finding secure employment and committing to being a better father to his five year old son.
"[Keegan] has recognised his triggers and gone out and done something about it," Mr Khan said.
Judge Haesler acknowledged Keegan's awareness of the impact of his actions and that a night in the cells was a "catalyst" for Keegan to turn himself around.
"This offence and the fear of its consequences forced [Keegan] to think of own childhood, and is determined to be as good a father as he can to his child."
Judge Haesler imposed a two-year-and-seven-month custodial sentence to be served in the community, and required Keegan to complete 150 hours of community service.
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