Dongara man’s stabbing of partner ‘savage and abhorrent’

Geraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courthouse. File image: The Geraldton Guardian
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. File image: The Geraldton Guardian Credit: Anita Kirkbright / Geraldton Guardian

A prosecutor has described a Dongara man’s stabbing of his partner as such a savage and abhorrent attack that it must be considered intentional.

Nicholas Cogin made the comments in his closing address to a Supreme Court jury in Geraldton on Wednesday as 57-year-old Kim Ashley Prunster stands trial for attempted murder.

Mr Cogin said Amanda Gibbons, 52, suffered life threatening injuries when Mr Prunster stabbed her up to 14 times in November 2017.

The attack came a day after Ms Gibbons told Mr Prunster their relationship of 34 years was over and she was leaving him for another man, family friend and Dongara businessman Glen Marsden.

Mr Cogin said Mr Prunster’s failure to call an ambulance disproved the defence claim he was in a dissociative state at the time of the attack.

“This was not knitting… this was not a learned behaviour. These were actions which, if you think of it, were totally abhorrent,” he said.

Mr Cogin said testimony, disputed by Mr Prunster, that he called Mr Marsden after the attack and told him “it’s done” inferred Mr Prunster intended to kill Ms Gibbons.

“This was not just a gentle use of the knife. This was a savage attack with the knife,” he said.

Mr Cogin said Mr Prunster was a proud man with strong community following who would find it exceptionally hard to admit what he had done.

“Think about it, it’s much easier to say I don’t remember,” he said.

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Mr Prunster’s lawyer, David McKenzie, in his closing address, said all the evidence pointed to a case of acting while in a dissociated state.

This included testimony from Ms Gibbons that before the attack Mr Prunster’s eyes were vacant, black and weird.

“The fact that he looked so different, you might think that means that he was in a different state of mind,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Why did he suddenly go from stabbing, and not looking like himself, to crying, apologising and trying to hug?

“One thing is clear: this has been an overwhelmingly powerful event for Mr Prunster. The second thing is that he was remorseful; he stopped.

“She said stop; he stopped. And that is, in my opinion, because he came out of that dissociated state.”

Mr McKenzie said despite lots of people being concerned for Ms Gibbons after the attack, it was Mr Prunster who tried to get help.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict tomorrow.

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