Stabbing accused abused hospital staff: court told

A Farmborough Heights man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend before turning the knife on himself has physically and verbally abused medical staff during his time in hospital, a court has heard.

Michael James Quinn, 25, was left wheelchair-bound with severe spine injuries after stabbing himself with a kitchen knife just moments after he allegedly plunged the weapon into the neck of his girlfriend of four years, Cherie Lyn Vize.

Ms Vize died as a result of the attack, which police allege was prompted by her announcement to Quinn shortly beforehand that she had been seeing someone else and their relationship was finished.

Quinn has been confined to the Prince of Wales hospital's spinal unit owing to his injuries since the date of the incident - July 22 last year - and has not been subject to any type of court bail.

However, with his condition improving, lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday sought to have Quinn officially denied bail.

To support the Crown's submission that Quinn posed too much of a risk to the public, despite his disability, DPP lawyer Kristy Speirs presented 10 letters from Quinn's treating doctors and nurses outlining his bad behaviour during his time in the hospital.

The medical staff said Quinn had repeatedly lunged at them and tried to spit on them, as well as screaming and making threats towards them.

One doctor told the court she felt intimidated and physically threatened by Quinn, whose behaviour she believed was compromising her ability to provide care to other patients.

However, Quinn's lawyer, Ross Hudson, said his client's parents, who were present in court, had set out a detailed plan of how they would look after their son, who required around-the-clock care, if he was released on bail.

Mr Hudson rejected claims by Ms Speirs that the Crown case against Quinn was a strong one.

He said moments before the stabbing, there was a struggle between Quinn and the deceased woman, and that the notion of the injury being inflicted "by accident" would be a "very live" issue in the case.

He also said his client had a history of physiological illness and might rely on a mental illness defence.

However, Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused to release Quinn on bail, saying letting him continue his treatment in the community posed too much of a risk to the public, particularly to medical staff.

Quinn will be placed into the care of the medical arm of Corrective Services, which will decide where he will be detained while his case proceeds through the courts.

The matter was adjourned to June 18 for further mention.

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