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Student who stabbed Avondale teacher jailed

Published: 2:07PM Thursday September 24, 2009 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

A Korean student who stabbed his teacher in the back during class has been jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay $10,000 to his victim.

For the first time the public heard from the Avondale College teacher who suffered deep wounds to his back and damage to his spine after Tae Won Chung attacked him with a knife.

Outside court, David Warren limped to his car without a word after earlier recalling his vivid memories of the day in March when the 17-year-old stabbed him.

"I have a lasting image in my mind that plays back constantly of the offender standing straddled across the top of me in the classroom with his knife, bloody knife...protruding out."

The sports-mad teacher has been robbed of the ability to carrying out even mundane tasks such as mowing the lawn.

Chung's father fronted up in court to apologise for his son's behaviour.

"Justice has to be done," Ki Chan Chung said through an interpreter.

The court was told friction between the student and teacher began last year and on the day before the attack Warren made a comment about military conscription in Korea and Chung's sleepiness in class.

The teen says Warren told him how unfortunate it would be if South Korea were to be attacked by North Korea and Chung was asleep at the time.

"This was at best in my submission culturally insensitive," the teen said through his counsel.

Chung's anger festered, prompting him to take a knife to school the next day. As Warren was writing on the whiteboard, he attacked.

"His violence was gravely reckless and could have proved lethal," Judge Roderick Joyce said.

In sentencing him to prison, Joyce said home detention would send the wrong message.

A translator said the father's heart is broken because his boy is going to prison.

The family is considering an appeal.