Knife pulled after taxi clash


A Queenstown builder told cops it was a “stupid, drunken decision” to pull a knife on a man who barged into his taxi.

Callum Stephen Horner, 26, of Fernhill, admits possessing a knife and assaulting Blair Griffiths on September 19.

In Queenstown District Court on Monday, lawyer Rachel Napier says Horner “saw red” after Griffiths spewed out verbal abuse and then refused to chip in for the taxi ride to Fernhill.

“He kicked out towards the victim and took the knife out of his jacket.”

Napier continues: “He feels terrible for what he’s put the victim, his partner and everybody else involved in this matter through.

“He was upset, he feels sick to his stomach when he thinks about what he did.”

Napier says Griffiths jeered Horner’s female friends and made “insulting and derogatory” remarks, while waiting for the taxi.

The verbal abuse apparently continued on the drive to Fernhill.

Horner “had enough” and pulled the knife after Griffiths and his friend got out of the taxi and allegedly refused to contribute to the fare.

Napier says Horner bought the knife as a “novelty”.

He’d shown it to friends earlier that night - and then put it in his pocket and forgot about it.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says the police do not accept Horner’s version of events - the summary of facts was compiled based on the statement of the sober taxi driver.

Judge Bernadette Farnan says Horner summed up his actions well when he told cops it was a “stupid, drunken

“I’m sure you would realise looking at the size of that knife, things could have gone seriously awry.”

However, she accepted his early guilty plea, lack of previous convictions, otherwise good character and that “you
feel bad”.

Horner was sentenced to 175 hours’ community work.

Plus, he was also ordered to pay $500 in emotional harm reparation to Griffiths within 28 days. The knife will be destroyed.