QLD_CP_NEWS_CHILE_SKYRAIL_13AUG19
QLD_CP_NEWS_CHILE_SKYRAIL_13AUG19

‘I was trying to scare her’, stabbing accused says

A MAN who left a backpacker hospitalised from stab wounds and a broken nose has told a court he only wanted to scare her and did not try to kill her after she rejected an unwanted advance.

Mornington Island man Raynard Gregory Moodoonuthi, 37, appeared in Cairns Supreme Court on Wednesday when he was called to give evidence after pleading not guilty to one count of attempted murder.

Mr Moodoonuthi pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Chilean stab victim Constanza Escudero. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Chilean stab victim Constanza Escudero. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

The court heard the violence happened on August 5 last year, after Mr Moodoonuthi allegedly made an unwanted advance at Chilean woman Constanza Escudero, 27, in the kitchen of Gecko's Backpackers in Cairns, where she was staying at the time.

During his evidence in chief, the defendant, who was working at the hostel, denied the allegation, saying it was an accidental bump.

He admitted to delivering a number of powerful punches to Ms Escudero's face after she hit him following the alleged unwanted advance.Mr Moodoonuthi said he apologised to her but when she "whacked me … I just snapped".

He then grabbed a knife that prompted Ms Escudero and her friend, Marisol Fernandez, who tried to intervene, to run outside.

Mr Moodoonuthi ran after them and stabbed Ms Escudero's left arm from behind before stabbing her in the upper left chest area.

"I was trying scare her, I wasn't trying to kill her," he said.

"I pushed the knife against her shirt and it slid in … I thought 'oh no, what did I do here?' It just all happened so quick (sic), I didn't know what I was doing."

The court heard that it was only when his boss came out that he handed the knife over before running off.

During cross examination, Crown Prosecutor Nathan Crane suggested a number of times that Mr Moodoonuthi knew what he was doing in the kitchen and believed he would get away with it.

Mr Crane also suggested that the defendant intended to stab Ms Escudero.

Mr Moodoonuthi repeatedly denied the suggestions and said it was "a heat-of-the moment" situation.

"The scare tactic just went a little too far," he said.

Closing statements and the verdict are set to be delivered on Thursday.

Originally published as 'I was trying to scare her', stabbing accused says


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