Man jailed for Qld nightclub stabbing

Queensland bikie associate James Peter Arapeta Holt liked to carry a knife wherever he went.


In 2011 and 2012, the 24-year-old was in trouble for carrying one in public.

In 2013, when a fight broke out at a Fortitude Valley nightclub, he wasted no time in drawing his pocket knife and viciously attacking two men, the Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Thursday.

The former Bandidos associate was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail for his September 1, 2013 attack, which left 29-year-old victim Leo Salesa with seven knife wounds on his upper body, including a 15cm gash under his armpit.

Mr Salesa lost so much blood he would have died without surgery, while his friend Geoffrey Talavave was in intensive care for weeks with a chest cavity wound.

Crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy said a fight broke out between Holt’s Bandidos friends, and Mr Salesa and Mr Talavave, at the venue Hot Gossip in the early hours of the morning.

CCTV footage captured Holt rushing to the defence of Bandidos members Anthony Toumpas and Brett Pechey and stabbing Mr Salesa and Mr Talavave multiple times.

Frightened patrons fled the club as bottles were thrown and tables overturned.

Holt was restrained by security and was heard to say, “let me get these guys” before fleeing the scene.

Holt pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and one of unlawful wounding with intent.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a taser and enough methylamphetamine for distribution.

The attack had been out of character for the warehouse worker and father of three, said defence barrister Andrew Hoare, and Holt had shown “genuine remorse”.

Justice Debra Mullins found he hadn’t gone to the nightclub intending to use his knife, but said his “unwise” decision to carry it was his undoing.

“It was lucky that medical treatment was obtained for (Mr Salesa) so quickly,” she said.

Holt will be eligible for parole on March 11, 2018.