1491871089959 - Experienced cop ‘never felt so scared’ as during Dunedin knife incident

Experienced cop ‘never felt so scared’ as during Dunedin knife incident

A police officer with over 25 years experience was left shaken after an incident involving an intoxicated man brandishing a large knife.

Senior Constable Steve Griffiths was in the Dunedin District Court when Morgan Steur-Clarke, 30, was sent to prison for one year on charges of intentional damage, possessing an offensive weapon and resisting police.

Before his sentencing, Steur-Clarke made an apology to Griffiths for his actions on the night of July 2, 2016.

Griffiths and a trainee officer had been called to a St Kilda, Dunedin, property following reports of a domestic incident.

The pair found a damaged home covered in blood splatter, and an intoxicated Steur-Clark with a badly bleeding hand.

Steur-Clark later told police he only remembered drinking gin and beer at a friend’s house, before he and his family took a taxi home.

His family later fled the property after he flew into an a rage, smashing three doors.

Officers found a partially-clothed Steur-Clarke, who they helped get dressed, but he suddenly became enraged.

He raised his fists at the officers, and demanded they leave before grabbing a large knife from the kitchen.

With only metres between them, Steur-Clarke yelled at the officers to leave, and Griffiths retreated until he could close the door behind him.

More officers were called to the scene. Steur-Clark resisted arrest, with three officers needed to detain him.

In his victim impact statement, Griffiths, who had largely worked as a police officer in a semi-rural Otago, said he “never felt so scared in his life” as he did during the incident.

It left him less trusting of others, he said.

Crown counsel Craig Power said Steur-Clarke was “out of control” during the incident.

Judge Michael Crosbie said Steur-Clarke was clearly “affected by something”.

He noted Steur-Clarke had pleaded guilty to the charges, had good work prospects, was attending counselling and had not touched alcohol since the incident.

His previous offences totalled five pages though, and included assaulting police and offensive behaviour.

Visibly surprised at being sentenced to prison, Steur-Clarke turned to supporters and said, “love you guys”.

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