Manase Fainu denies stabbing man at Wattle Grove church

Judge Nanette Williams said he may need to put his “moral code to one side” and would not be judged. Nouata said the group was threatening, swearing and “carrying on”.

The prosecutor said CCTV allegedly showed Fainu later jumping over a fence back onto the church grounds followed by other men.

She said five men, allegedly including Fainu and Faingaa, approached Levi’s group in the car park and one person was heard saying “let’s go, let’s go” before the first punch was thrown.

“At that point, a brawl erupted,” Curran said.

She said a witness, Tony Thanh Toan Quach, will give evidence he saw Fainu approach Levi’s group from behind, holding a steak knife in his right hand with his arm bent at a 90-degree angle and his left arm in a sling.

Fainu allegedly swung his right hand into Levi’s back, striking underneath his right shoulder blade.

“The accused then moved around and moved the knife towards Levi’s face, cutting him across the top of his eye,” she said.

Curran said Levi fell to the ground and yelled “stop fighting, I’m injured”. Fainu allegedly jumped back over the fence and fled in a car.

She said Levi was treated for a wound to his back, near his fifth rib, that penetrated his lung, causing it to collapse. Levi had internal bleeding in his chest cavity and a laceration above his right eye.

Nouata gave evidence he had tried to break up the fight, shouting “stop it”, and heard someone else say “he’s got a knife, he’s got a knife, he’s got a knife”.

He was injured in the brawl and called triple zero while an off-duty nurse rendered first aid to Levi who was “bleeding at the back”.

During a search warrant in November 2019, police found black tracksuit pants with a white stripe at Fainu’s home in Guildford West, the prosecutor said.

Fainu’s barrister Margaret Cunneen, SC, said the defense presents “another version of events”, and of all the people involved in the brawl, it was not her client who stabbed the complainant.

“What is in dispute is that Manase Fainu ever stabbed Mr Levi, in the back or in the eye or in any other place,” she said. “What is in dispute is that Mr Fainu ever formed any intention whatsoever to do any harm to Mr Levi.”

She said the jury will hear evidence the scene was “pitch black”, there were a lot of men involved and a lot of movement.

“It was quick, very quick,” Cunneen said.

“You’ll hear that Mr Levi doesn’t even know who stabbed him, [he] can’t tell you who it was.”

Cunneen said Fainu had previously “never, ever been charged with any violence in his life”.

“He had no fight or quarrel with anyone, he hasn’t got a problem with anyone there. It’s not his fight,” she said.

Cunneen asked the jury to consider whether Quach, who allegedly saw Fainu holding a knife, was reliable, honest or “has some reason to lie”.

The trial continues and is expected to run for two weeks.

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