NSW man jailed for drug-fuelled carjacking

Steve Zemek
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ST GEORGE HOSPITAL STOCK

Sonny Attard absconded from St George Hospital and carjacked and stabbed a woman

A Sydney man who violently hijacked a car and stabbed a woman in the neck while high on a cocktail of drugs has been jailed for at least four years.

Sonny Attard hung his head and struggled with his emotions on Wednesday, as the Sydney District Court heard details of his rampage through the city's southern suburbs in July 2019.

The 26-year-old had been out of prison for just a fortnight when he absconded from St George Hospital, carjacked a woman and ordered her to drive.

The court heard the woman was placed in an induced coma for three days and needed 21 stitches after he stabbed her in the neck and face with a Swiss Army knife.

Attard was facing a maximum of 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless wounding and taking a motor vehicle with a person in it.

Judge Garry Neilson took Attard's extensive criminal history into account when he sentenced him to six years' jail with a non-parole period of four years.

The court heard details of his criminal history including several stints in prison.

Attard was released from jail on June 25 last year after serving time for spitting into a police officer's mouth and resisting arrest after being caught shoplifting chocolates at Woolworths in Surry Hills.

On July 9, he was high on heroin, cannabis and ice when he flagged down a police car in Kogarah and told them he was having an adverse reaction to amphetamines.

He was taken to hospital and after waking up several hours later he attempted to walk out, but was restrained by security staff.

He became verbally abusive and ran into a glass sliding door, causing it to crack, then fled and found a woman in a nearby street who was parking outside her building.

Attard climbed into the back seat and told her: "Hurry up, I'll f***ing kill you, just drive."

He ordered her to drive to Maroubra, although the court heard that it was unclear why.

He began acting erratically and punched her in the face three times after becoming frustrated with her manner of driving.

Attard found a Swiss Army knife in the car's centre console and stabbed her in the neck and face, causing her to bleed over her clothes.

After a 10-minute ordeal, the woman escaped when they were forced to stop behind a reversing truck.

Attard was caught after he crashed into cars stopped at a red traffic light and an apartment block wall in Monterey.

Judge Neilson described it as a "vicious and ferocious" attack.

He said Attard was in the grips of a powerful drug addiction, having started smoking cannabis at 13 and doing heroin at 18.

"The significance of his criminal history is that I am unable to offer any leniency on the offender's sentence," Judge Neilson said.