Irving Butterfield outside court today. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
Irving Butterfield outside court today. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman

 

A father-of-two was today handed down a suspended sentence after he admitted stabbing his friend after he saw him kissing his estranged wife.

Irving Butterfield, 39 pleaded guilty earlier this year to unlawfully wounding Damian Forbes between February 3 and 4 and uttering threatening words.

Butterfield stabbed Mr Forbes after he saw him kissing his estranged wife, Christiana Kempe at her home late in the night on February 3.  

Crown counsel Nicole Smith told all three parties were friends and the two men worked together.

Butterfield and Ms Kempe were married but separated at the time and have two children. They are now divorced.

The court heard on February 3, Butterfield was watching the children at Ms Kempe’s home so that she could go to the grocery store and prepare food for the Super Bowl that night.

Ms Smith told the court Butterfield knew Mr Forbes would be coming over that evening and as a result, he became aggressive and argumentative towards Ms Kempe when she returned from the grocery store.

Ms Kempe asked him to leave the home and didn’t expect him to return that evening.

At 7:45pm, Mr Forbes came to Ms Kempe’s home where they watched the football game on TV. The two children went to bed sometime later.

Ms Smith said at midnight, Mr Forbes and Ms Kempe were having a conversation when the complainant expressed his feelings for her, leading to them kissing.

Ms Smith said: “Almost simultaneously with the kiss, there was a loud and aggressive knock at the door.

“Ms Kempe opened the door and Mr Butterfield barged in the residence and pushed her aside.

“He went into the kitchen and picked up an eight-inch knife and proceeded towards Mr Forbes who was seated on the sofa.

The court heard a struggle began and Butterfield said: “What the f**k are you doing here. What are you doing kissing my wife.”

Butterfield then began to choke Mr Forbes with his other hand and tried to stab him with the hand the knife was in.

He then said: “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you.”

As a result of the scuffle, Mr Forbes suffered a three-inch deep cut between his thumb and index finger, which had to be repaired with stitches.

The court heard Mr Forbes began to “bleed profusely”. He eventually escaped from the home and called the police.

He was taken to hospital via ambulance. Butterfield was arrested and said to the officers: “How would you feel if you saw a man kissing your wife. I’m going to kill him by the end of the week.”

Ms Smith said Butterfield was “wholly” to blame for the incident.

“Having had prior knowledge Mr Forbes would be there, to watch the Super Bowl, the defendant executed his plan to scout out his wife’s home with a view to spy on the complainant and Ms Kempe.

“He knew that he wouldn’t want to see the complainant there. He knew that it would unfavourable to him.”

Mitigating for Butterfield, lawyer Marc Daniels said: “Mr Butterfield goes to the house and he sees what he sees. Mr Butterfield goes inside the house and beelines to Mr Forbes.

“He confided in him and considered him a close friend. This was a crime of passion.”

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves questioned if the couple were actually separated since Butterfield was allowed in the home.

“She wasn’t rubbing salt in his wounds, she soaked him in a brine, in the man’s house where he still had privileges where he keeps his children.

“She brings a man in the house. The relationship wasn’t finished.”

Mr Greaves continued: “He had a right to peep. What was he supposed to do when he saw them? Wait until the gentleman entered into the valley of love?

“Walk away with his head bowed down like a mouse?”

Mr Greaves rejected that the defendant was “wholly” to blame and said all three paties were “acting badly”.

He also said he didn’t condone violence.

Sentencing Butterfield, Mr Greaves said in the circumstances, the appropriate sentence was 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years for the wounding charge.

Butterfield was also sentenced to three months suspended for the threatening words charge.