5 Sep 2013

Man charged over court stabbing

10:55 pm on 5 September 2013

A Napier man has been charged with wounding with intent to injure and possession of methamphetamine following a stabbing at the Napier Court on Wednesday.

Johnny Braam appeared in court on Thursday and was remanded in custody until 25 September.

A man in his twenties suffered a stab wound to his left forearm following the attack at the court and was treated at Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Criminal defence lawyer Peter Coles says people have the right to feel safe in court and full-time security checks would be ideal throughout the country following the incident in Napier on Wednesday.

Mr Coles says fighting can never be stopped, but at least there would be less damage if weapons were stopped from getting into court.

However, Mr Coles says the costs of having full-time screening for weapons in some courts may outweigh the benefits.

Security officers were introduced to courts following a fatal stabbing at Palmerston North District Court in 1999. Screening was then rolled out 10 years later.

The Ministry of Justice says security screening takes place all the time at the five largest courts in the country, and at peak times at 30 regional courts.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows said a wider review of security in courts, expected in the next couple of weeks, could recommend changes.