A Mount Gambier man accused of stabbing another man following a dispute over a $50 drug debt has been granted home detention bail.

Key points:

  • The court heard Mr Walters had borrowed $50 from the victim
  • Mr Walters’ lawyer said the accused struck the victim in self-defence
  • He will appear in court again later this year

Mark John Walters, 46, appeared via video-link in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court, where defence counsel argued for his release.

He was arrested and charged with attempted murder in relation to a violent altercation at an apartment block on Queens Avenue in Mount Gambier on January 2.

The court heard the victim had leant Walters $50 and began sending the defendant text messages in an effort to retrieve the money.

The prosecution said following an exchange of messages, the victim walked to Mr Walters’ address on Queens Avenue.

It is alleged Mr Walters answered the door in an aggressive manner, kicking it open and then striking the victim in the neck and abdomen.

The prosecution said police were then called and located the victim with his bowel “protruding from his stomach”.

He was airlifted to Flinders Medical Centre, where he underwent surgery to remove a section of his bowel.

The prosecution opposed the application for bail due to the seriousness of the offence and the need to protect the victim in the matter.

Lawyer flags self-defence argument

Defence lawyer Dylan Walsh said the allegations would be contested and self-defence would be argued at trial.

He said prior to the incident the complainant sent text messages to the defendant asking when he was going to “get that scoop back”.

Mr Walsh said “scoop” was terminology used among drug users to describe a “lick and dip” of methamphetamine.

He said his client received aggressive text messages from the victim and became concerned for his safety.

Mr Walsh argued the victim forced his way into his client’s premises and delivered several blows to Mr Walters’ head.

“I visited the defendant in hospital and saw the trauma inflicted on him,” he said.

“He had a contusion on his head and a cauliflower ear.”

Mr Walsh will re-appear in court in June.(ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

He said that during the altercation Mr Walters picked something up off the coffee table and struck the victim in self-defence.

Mr Walsh said granting the defendant home detention bail to an address in Adelaide, 450 kilometres away, would provide the victim with protection.

Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis agreed with the submission.

“I am inclined to grant the defendant home detention bail,” Magistrate Panagiotidis said.

Mr Walters’ parents were required to act as guarantors and supply a cash surety of $2,000 to the court.

The accused man was remanded on home detention bail until a hearing in June.