A prominent real estate agent tried to strangle his girlfriend before attacking her friend with a samurai sword at his multimillion-dollar home in Sydney’s inner west, a court has heard.
Karl Howard, 44, was being treated in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for a shoulder injury while his case was briefly mentioned at Newtown Court on Wednesday.
The Ray White Balmain owner is accused of punching his 27-year-old girlfriend in the head before stabbing her 29-year-old friend with a samurai sword after she tried to intervene on Monday morning.
Lawyer John Sutton said it was too early to indicate whether his client would fight the charges against him, including attempted murder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
“I don’t have those instructions. He is in hospital, I don’t have those instructions,” he said.
“He has got various physical injuries of his own, he has undergone surgery.
“I think he is worried about a lot more than losing his job, it’s is a very unfortunate circumstance.”
Sources close to the investigation said Mr Howard recently met his girlfriend on a dating app and the trio were drinking at his Annandale home before the alleged attack.
The younger woman, who works as a nurse, and the older woman, who is a freelance publicist, ran to a nearby home on Ferris Street and called triple-0.
Paramedics treated the women for serious injuries before they were taken in an ambulance to the same hospital as their alleged attacker.
Police said Mr Howard was hiding behind a parked car and tried to jump over a fence before he was arrested on nearby Macquarie Street.
Alex Tilbury from Ray White released a statement on behalf of the company, confirming Mr Howard had been stood down.
“Ray White Balmain Principal Karl Howard was stood down from the business on Monday pending a police investigation,” it said.
“The suspension has been extended pending the resolution of charges against him.
“We do not condone violence in any form. We are concerned for the wellbeing of all involved and staff are being offered counselling services.”
After Mr Howard recovers from surgery in hospital, he will be moved to a prison before facing Newtown Court on April 8.
Family and domestic violence support services:
- 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732
- Women’s Crisis Line (NSW): 1800 656 463
- Safe Steps Crisis Line (Vic): 1800 015 188
- Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
- Mensline: 1300 789 978
- Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
- Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277