stabbing
stabbing

Jail for man who stabbed two men in CBD — then ate burger

FUELLED by a cocktail of too much alcohol and extra doses of prescription medication, James Hamilton King was feeling "out of control and vulnerable" when he launched a near fatal and unprovoked attack in an "extreme flash of anger", a court has heard.

King, 36, of Klemzig attacked Atticus Possingham and his friend Harry Latimer as they were walking through Rundle Mall while enjoying a night out early on Sunday, July 1, 2017.

In sentencing on Thursday, Judge Paul Muscat said King had been drinking with friends in a bar and karaoke bar before the 2.45am attack. He had also taken "extra doses" of Ritalin, which was prescribed to him six months earlier to treat his adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"(This) would have had a compounding affect on the large amount of alcohol you had consumed throughout the afternoon and into the night," Judge Muscat said.

After leaving the karaoke bar King, who had described himself as feeling "out of control and vulnerable" before he came across the two men and another of their friends.

King approach the three men, exchanging "banter" before "disturbing" surveillance footage captured King's "very alarming" attack.

A Facebook photo of stabbing victims Harry Latimer, left, and Atticus Possingham.
A Facebook photo of stabbing victims Harry Latimer, left, and Atticus Possingham.


"There was no justification for you behaving the way you did, nor did they do anything to provoke the violent attack from you which followed," he said.

"For some inexplicable reason you rushed directly at the group. You jumped onto one of the benches in the mall and launched an attack.

"You then plunged that knife into Mr Possingham's abdomen with such force that it broke one of his ribs.

"The knife penetrated into his abdomen, slicing through his liver and kidney."

Judge Muscat said Mr Possingham, who was then aged 21, appeared "stunned", before King also slashed his neck.

Mr Latimer instinctively chased King, tackling him to the ground, before King also stabbed him on the jaw and forearm.

A police officer investigates the stabbing in Rundle Mall. Inset: Bloodstains in the mall following the attack. Picture: Tait Schmaal
A police officer investigates the stabbing in Rundle Mall. Inset: Bloodstains in the mall following the attack. Picture: Tait Schmaal

 

King then ran off and went to Hungry Jack's on Pulteney St for a meal before getting in a taxi to his mother's house.

A council worker later found the knife on top of a bin on Grenfell St and handed it to police.

Judge Muscat King was "plainly prepared to use that knife", which he had pulled from his bag.

"Disturbingly it was not used for your protection and it highlights the extreme danger of persons carrying weapons or having them immediately available especially in circumstances when they are intoxicated and agitated as you were," he said.

"Whatever triggered your 'flash of extreme anger' … remains totally unexplained."

Judge Muscat said King had no memory of the attacks, but in an apology had shown remorse and some insight into his offending.

He said King, a volunteer art gallery guide who also volunteered in community radio, was "at a complete loss to explain where your anger came from".

Judge Muscat said the physical and emotional impacts on his victims was "profound and enduring", leaving both men and their families traumatised.

He said Mr Possingham was "very fortunate to have survived the attack" which left him in hospital for 11 days, bedridden for five weeks and without 25 per cent of his right hip.

"While he was being operated on his family were informed he may not survive the injuries which would have naturally caused them great shock and enormous distress."

It took him a year to recover from his physical injuries and has multiple scars including one running 40cm vertically across his stomach which is a "constant and permanent reminder" of the attack.

Mr Latimer suffered two 2cm stab wounds, one of which damaged his saliva glands and required surgery.

Judge Muscat said the emotional impact of the attacks continues to affect the lives of both men.

"Your actions have changed their lives and those of their families in so many different and ongoing ways," Judge Muscat said.

He jailed King for eight years with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years.



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