The prosecution of a man charged over a stabbing in Kingston has been discontinued, with his lawyer saying it was a “sensible decision” and his client’s actions had been in “self-defence”.
Hayden Ashley Ryan Todkill pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm after the fight on 5 March 2022.
While he was committed to the ACT Supreme Court for trial on both charges, only the grievous bodily harm charge was placed onto his indictment.
Then on Tuesday (29 November), the prosecution filed a notice declining to proceed with that charge.
“This was a sensible decision by the prosecution to decline to proceed further with the charge,” Todkill’s solicitor, Jacob Robertson of JDR Law, said.
“The incident and the circumstances leading up to it were captured on video footage, which clearly demonstrated that the actions of Todkill were done in self-defence.”
Todkill was arrested on 9 March 2022. When the 26-year-old was granted bail about a month-and-a-half later in April 2022, Magistrate James Lawton found the issue of self-defence was a special and exceptional circumstance that favoured his release from custody.
The magistrate said while there was no dispute Todkill had used some sort of knife during the fight, it appeared he had been quickly “overwhelmed” and assaulted by several others, and retreated a number of times.
According to court documents, Todkill joined a large group of people on a party boat that left Kingston on 5 March 2022 to celebrate two birthdays. After the cruise departed, one of his friends slapped a man onboard and accused him of spilling a drink on her, which the man denied.
After the boat returned to shore, passengers went into a restaurant and bar where Todkill allegedly told the man who had been slapped, “Do we have a problem?” and, “Let’s go outside”.
When they left, Todkill allegedly punched the man in the face. He responded in kind and the pair fell to the ground in a struggle. A man who had been celebrating a birthday on the boat separated them.
Todkill began to walk away towards Eastlake Parade, followed by the person who broke up the fight and several others. Todkill allegedly removed a knife hidden in his clothes and stabbed the man. The pair brawled then Todkill ran off.
The stabbed man underwent emergency surgery and was placed into an induced coma until the next day.