SA man 'psychotic' during tourist stabbing

Kathryn Bermingham

A man who stabbed a French tourist in the neck at a national park in Adelaide was in a psychotic state at the time of the attack, a court has heard.

Antoni James Barresi, 25, appeared in the South Australian Supreme Court on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to charges of aggravated causing serious harm with intent and aggravated assault.

Barresi stabbed Maxime Michel during an altercation in the Belair National Park in January last year and was arrested at a nearby railway station.

Mr Michel suffered stab wounds to his neck and hand and was taken to hospital.

Barresi had originally been charged with attempted murder but prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge.

In a victim impact statement translated from French and read in court on Tuesday, Mr Michel said he had suffered physically, psychologically and professionally in the aftermath of the attack.

He said the attack had made him fearful and ruined his hope of becoming a professional firefighter.

"I truly believe I have been the victim of attempted murder, even if the charges against Mr Barresi do not correspond to the reality I experienced," the statement read.

Mr Michel and a friend had met Barresi at a backpacker's hostel the night before the stabbing, and the trio travelled to the park together in the morning.

The court heard Barresi's mental health was "significantly poor" and he was psychotic at the time of the attack.

He had been homeless and, for that reason, always carried a knife.

Justice Martin Hinton remanded Barresi in custody for sentencing next week.