A man charged with the stabbing murder of a primary school teacher has tried to escape custody during a dramatic court appearance in Sydney.
William Rodney Cahill was at Newtown Local Court, charged with killing 51-year-old Brian Liston with a 20cm knife at a bus stop near the intersection of Salisbury Road and Church Street, Camperdown, on Thursday night.
Mr Liston was a teacher at Strathfield South Public School.
Magistrate Robert Williams asked Cahill if he was on any medication and he said he was on several drugs, including clozapine, which is an anti-psychotic medication.
Cahill then attempted to escape from the dock as the court was returning from a brief adjournment around 12:30pm.
Police prosecutor Sheena Bucknell yelled “stay where you are” as Cahill climbed over the dock.
Three police officers had to restrain Cahill, preventing him from fleeing.
Civilian apprehends suspect with baseball bat
Residents near the bus stop have spoken of hearing screams, and running to a man’s aid only to be chased by the alleged attacker.
One man, Pete Smith armed himself with a baseball bat before helping apprehend the man.
“I made him sit down in front of the building, so he couldn’t run,” Mr Smith told Nine News.
“I made him drop the knife. He tried to run a couple of times.
“I said, ‘Don’t run buddy, because I’m going to break your legs and I’m gonna crack your skull.”
The charge sheet tendered to the court said the weapon Cahill used to kill Mr Liston was a 20cm knife.
The 28-year-old did not apply for bail and is due to front Central Local Court on February 4, via audio-visual link.
A police statement said paramedics treated the victim for multiple stab wounds on arrival at the scene.
“He was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital but he died a short time later,” the statement read.
Cahill’s legal aid lawyer Fiona Raphael told the court she had two conversations with her client but was not satisfied the accused could instruct her.
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said the school’s community was “deeply saddened by the death” of Mr Liston who was a teacher at a nearby school.
“He was a popular staff member and much loved by the school community,” the spokesman said.
“The school and department’s thoughts are with his family and friends.
“Counselling support is available for students and staff.”
– with ABC