AN evening drinking at Whitfield yesterday ended with a stabbed father fighting for his life in hospital.
A Whitfield man, 47, was later charged with intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury.
Trevor Grimshaw, 58, started drinking with friends at the Whitfield pub after finishing work at the Wangaratta Recycling Centre on Monday afternoon.
The group he was with later went to John Evans’ place, two doors from Mr Grimshaw’s house on the King Valley Road, and continued drinking.
Mr Grimshaw left at 9.30pm to get an early night so he could start work at 6am.
But just before 6am, Mr Grimshaw rang triple-0. He had been stabbed many times with a sharp implement, most likely a knife.
Wangaratta Detective Sgt Kevin Coughlan said police had found Mr Grimshaw in a “distressed and injured state” in a blood-splattered house.
Mr Grimshaw was placed in an induced coma and flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he is in a critical condition.
His injuries are so grave the homicide squad has been notified of the incident.
Sgt Coughlan said there “certainly was” evidence of a struggle at the house.
“It’s very alarming because Whitfield is reasonably quiet and a town based heavily on tourists,” he said.
“People are still living with the impact of the fatal fire at the store (in February).”
Mr Grimshaw’s drinking mate, Mr Evans, sitting with a beer in hand on his couch yesterday, said police had knocked on his door, waking him at 6am.
“Poor Trev’s harmless, he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said.
“What is going on here in a little valley like this?”
A Whitfield man, 47, was arrested at a house about a kilometre north of Mr Grimshaw’s place about 8am.
He was later charged and remanded to appear at the Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court today.
Mr Grimshaw’s father, Clive, who lives not far from his eldest son, was putting his bins out early yesterday when he saw several police cars up the road.
He said it had reminded him of the February 4 general store fire across the road that killed owner Barb Sartori.
Clive Grimshaw, who is 90 and partially blind, rode his mobility scooter to the police station and was told of his son’s stabbing.
“Of course I’m worried,” Mr Grimshaw said.
He and his son, who have spent most of their lives in Whitfield, worked together repairing powerlines about 25 years ago.
“He was a mighty worker,” Mr Grimshaw said.
“Nobody can fault him about his work.”
Mr Evans backed that view, saying Mr Grimshaw had never called in sick to work.
“He was a gentle, good man,” he said. “You can bank on him.”
Mr Grimshaw and Mr Evans are part of a clique of drinkers at the hotel.
The group members, with nicknames like Tiger, Johnno and Thong, meet at the pub almost every day to drink and swap stories.
Mr Evans said yesterday as he sipped his beer on his couch that he was trying to stay numb.
“He’s my best mate,” he said. “We have beers together — we’re local blokes and that’s the way we are.”