Woman jailed for stabbing Taranaki man 14 times over who would cook dinner


Amy Leeann Johnson stabbed a man multiple times during an argument over who would cook dinner. Photo / File

A man who suffered a severed artery after being stabbed 14 times during an argument over who should cook dinner has shown support for the woman responsible for the bloody attack and urged a judge not to lock her up.

Amy Leeann Johnson became so enraged with the victim that she sunk the knife into his head and neck area, while also stabbing his hands as he tried to block the blade.

Johnson, 34, then legged it from the Taranaki address with the knife still in hand, New Plymouth District Court heard on Wednesday.

The victim attempted to follow her but quickly returned home when he realised he was bleeding profusely and needed to phone an ambulance.

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In total, the man suffered 14 stab wounds, one of which severed an artery in the back of his neck and caused significant blood loss.

The September 18, 2022, incident was preceded by Johnson and the victim, who had been drinking alcohol together that day, arguing over who would cook dinner.

In the thick of the confrontation, she spotted a kitchen knife nearby, grabbed the weapon and launched her attack.

Johnson appeared in New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday. Photo / Tara Shaskey
Johnson appeared in New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday. Photo / Tara Shaskey

She was located by police around an hour later and told officers that she had been “in a rage and was just psychotic”.

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In court, Johnson appeared for sentence on an admitted charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Through his victim impact statement, the victim, who said he was recovering “fine” from the incident”, expressed his support for Johnson.

He believed she needed help to address her admitted issues with alcohol and said sending her to jail would only make matters worse for her.

Crown prosecutor Holly Bullock submitted a starting point of five years’ imprisonment would be appropriate, identifying the aggravating factors as the level of violence, the serious injury, Johnson’s use of a weapon and that she was serving a sentence at the time of the attack.

Bullock said there was no premeditation involved in the offending and rather Johnson had acted on impulse.

Defence lawyer Nathan Bourke echoed that submission, stating his client admitted “she snapped”.

At the time, Johnson was affected by alcohol and provocative comments, Bourke said, though he accepted her response was grossly disproportionate.

Bourke, who argued for a start point of no more than four years and six months’ jail, submitted Johnson was genuinely remorseful, which was evidenced in the presentence report and bolstered by a successful restorative justice conference with the victim, he said.

Johnson was not without insight and knew her offending could have ended with her facing a murder charge, Bourke said.

He described Johnson and the victim’s relationship as “dysfunctional” but said Johnson denied it was of an intimate nature.

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The victim, who was present in court, had contacted Bourke a number of times during the court case and had been supportive of Johnson since “day one”.

Referencing a cultural report, Judge Gregory Hikaka noted Johnson was raised in the presence of alcoholism and psychological and physical abuse.

She also has other traumas she has taken into her adult life which she has self-medicated with alcohol, he said.

The judge took a start point of four years’ imprisonment and then gave Johnson a 50 per cent discount, making allowances for her guilty plea, remorse, her “less than ideal” background”, and the victim’s views.

In sentencing Johnson to two years’ jail, Judge Hikaka implored Johnson to make use of the release conditions, which would include assistance with her alcohol abuse and other issues.

He told her that if she made abstaining from alcohol her life choice then that would provide her with a good platform to stay away from court in the future.

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