7 News: CCTV shows moment NSW Police officer is stabbed at Central Station during peak hour

Evan Batten: https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/cctv-shows-moment-nsw-police-officer-is-stabbed-at-central-station-during-peak-hour-c-2102299

Also SMH: ‘Outrageously serious’ – CCTV shows officer being stabbed in the back at Central Station

A man who stabbed a police officer in the back in an “outrageously serious” unprovoked attack at Sydney’s Central Station in 2019 bought the machete-style blade several hours earlier from Paddy’s Markets, a court has heard.

Mark Thompson, 54, was captured on CCTV walking up behind Constable Hayden Edwards just before 7pm on April 19, holding the knife in his right hand. Constable Edwards, then aged 30, had been responding to a different incident and had his back turned.

Released today by the NSW District Court, the footage shows the April 2019 stabbing incident, police pulling their guns, then the stabber falling onto the tracks.

Mr Thompson abruptly stabbed the officer, who twisted around and fell to the ground, then engaged in a stand-off with multiple other police officers who immediately drew their guns. Bystanders came to the officer’s aid.

Footage of the incident, played to a sentencing hearing in the NSW District Court on Friday, shows members of the public running away and some cowering in fear as Mr Thompson held the large knife in his right hand a black backpack in his left hand.Advertisement

Officers attempted to use pepper spray and a Taser on Mr Thompson during the confrontation. They continued to point their guns at him as he backed away towards the edge of one of the platforms, before another Taser was used and Mr Thompson fell onto the tracks. Multiple officers then jumped down after him and arrested him.

On Friday, Judge Gina O’Rourke SC said the offence was “random and unprovoked” and “outrageously serious”.

“Of course you don’t want people going around stabbing a police officer,” Judge O’Rourke said.

She said the officer continues to suffer in the wake of the incident, which involved him going about his duties when “unbeknownst to him someone runs up behind him and attacks him with a large knife”.

Constable Edwards received surgery for the 6-centimetre wound to his back and a minor fracture of his T8 vertebrae.

Mr Thompson has pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. A second charge of threatening to use an offensive weapon with intent to prevent lawful apprehension will be taken into account when he is sentenced.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Richard Furst told the court that Mr Thompson – who has chronic treatment-resistant schizophrenia – was experiencing delusions at the time including auditory hallucinations.

One of these delusions led Mr Thompson to believe that if he stabbed a police officer he would be shot dead, which would release a spirit inside of him.

“It was driven by his delusions at the time,” Dr Furst said. “He thought if he attacked a police officer he would be shot.

“He has trouble distinguishing reality from non-reality, especially when he has these beliefs enter his mind or hears voices.”

Dr Furst said Mr Thompson, who has been in custody since the incident, remained “quite psychotic and symptomatic” for about 18 months but in recent months has responded to treatment with the anti-psychotic medication Clozapine.

When Mr Thompson is eventually released from custody he should receive long-term treatment at a medium-secure mental health facility for “some years” before he is gradually reintegrated into the community, Dr Furst said.

Judge O’Rourke said Mr Thompson bought the blade, which she described as a machete-type knife, about 6 to 8 hours before the incident. The court heard he bought it from Paddy’s Markets.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Harrison said the crime was aggravated by the use of a weapon and the victim being a police officer, and in the vision of the incident “people can be seen cowering”.

“The protection of the community … should have significant weight,” Mr Harrison said. “What I’m emphasising is the primacy of the future dangerousness.”

Defence barrister Kenneth Averre said his client has no criminal history, and mental illness explained why a 54-year-old was in court for the first time “for an offence involving such violence”.

Mr Averre said there had been a “significant change” in Mr Thompson since he started taking Clozapine, but there is “a long road ahead”.

Mr Thompson will be sentenced on February 19.

Also 10 News

10NewsFirstSyd (@10 News First Sydney) Tweeted: A Sydney man who stabbed an unsuspecting police officer in the back says he wanted to get shot. A warning, viewers could find this story confronting. | @LiaJHarris

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