A man who stabbed his drunk and angry roommate after turning his own knife on him has been jailed for three years.
Hardeep Singh knocked on Yong Choy Chee’s door and started a fight over visa money at a Springvale boarding house in November 2016.
Mr Singh, then 29 years old and more than three times above the legal driving limit for alcohol, dropped the knife after Chee, 35, tried to slam his door.
The older man then stabbed his roommate’s head and upper body several times, cutting an artery.
Chee admitted to causing serious injury to Mr. Singh. But their accounts differed as to who had the knife first and were challenged in the Supreme Court in Victoria.
Judge Lex Lasry said on Wednesday he accepted Chee’s testimony and found Mr. Singh’s version of events, in which he was initially attacked, to be unreliable.
“What happened was spontaneous and you were acting in response to the initial threat,” Judge Lasry told Chee, whom he sentenced to three years in prison without a fixed period of release.
“You didn’t provoke the confrontation and put the knife in. But you overreacted.”
The pair came to Australia from Malaysia on tourist visas, but they expired and the duo remained in the country illegally working as plasterers.
They claimed over $ 400 or so that Mr. Singh had given to a cousin of Chee for another visa.
The court had previously heard Mr. Singh run away from the house and then go inside, crying for help because he thought he was going to die.
He needed a blood transfusion, surgery, and was in intensive care for six days.
At one point, he had no pulse but was resuscitated.
Chee fled before the police arrived, leaving a trail of blood. The kitchen was also covered in blood.
He moved interstate, stopped accessing his bank accounts, changed his phone number, and registered a new one under a false name.
He was arrested in NSW in February 2019 when police who arrested him for a traffic ticket realized he was wanted in Victoria.
Chee said he was asleep when Mr. Singh knocked drunkenly and aggressively on his door.
“He was holding a knife and wanted to cut me. I was very scared,” Chee told the court through an interpreter.
Mr Singh said he was upset with the visa and told Chee he wanted to either get the money or the papers or he would go to the police.
Chee, who has served 867 days in detention, will be deported to Malaysia after serving his three-year sentence.