A Portuguese seaman slashed his fellow boatman with a knife during a fight aboard a fishing vessel, while it was docked in Whangarei for repairs, a jury has heard.
Fisherman Rui Alberto da Silva Faria has pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and an alternative charge of wounding with intent to injure the boat's cook, Joao Manuel Almeida Escobar.
The trial at the Whangarei District Court started with two interpreters being sworn in on Monday. All evidence is being translated as it is being given.
Crown Prosecutor David Stephens told the jury of six men and six women that both men were working on the fishing boat San Nikunau when it docked in Whangarei for repairs. The crew lived on board while the work was being done and the men had worked together for about four years.
On December 28, 2010, the crew were having drinks on the stern of the boat when Mr Escobar became concerned he had lost his iPhone.
Later, the two men argued which led to fighting in a hallway.
Blows were exchanged before the two men were separated. Mr Escobar had a cigarette, went to his bunkroom had a shower and went to bed.
Shortly afterwards Faria came to the door and was let in.
The Crown says Faria then slashed Mr Escobar with a knife leaving a 12cm cut on his chest, a 20cm long cut below his left armpit and a cut on his finger as he held his hand up for protection. The wounded man was taken to Whangarei Hospital and more than 40 staples were used to close the two longer cuts. Three stitches were put in his finger. Police were called.
"The accused was in an angry frame of mind and he had not settled down. He got himself a knife and went to the bunkroom with an intent to cause really serious harm," Mr Stevens said.
Lawyer Chris Muston said the case would be defended on the basis Faria did not cut the cook and, in fact, Mr Escobar possibly inflicted the cuts on himself.
The other possibility was a third person cut Mr Escobar.
Mr Muston said the reliability of the evidence was also an issue for a number of reasons including intoxification.