Police stabber bailed after guilty verdict

·2-min read

A Sydney jury has found a man unlawfully stabbed a police officer in the neck, rejecting the "ludicrous suggestion" the offender thought the cop chasing him down was a thug.

Rory James Constantino, 30, is due to be sentenced in December for recklessly wounding Senior Constable Jacob Vella in the Sydney suburb of Sadleir.

Sen Const Vella was stabbed in the neck with a makeshift bladed spear in the offender's bedroom in 2019 after he and a colleague attempted to execute an arrest warrant for Constantino's father Ricky over a firearm offence.

Constantino had claimed he did not know the two men dressed in plain clothes were police. He says he was acting in self-defence against men who busted down his door and chased him through the house about dawn on June 11.

"This guy did not seem to be a police officer ... I thought I was going to die. I literally thought these guys were going to kill me," he said in a 2019 police interview.

The Crown called that story "absolute nonsense", saying Constantino would not have opened the door to his family home and then merely chatted to those outside if he thought they were a threat.

"That is a ludicrous suggestion and quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, it's an insult to your intelligence," crown prosecutor Leon Apostle told the jury.

The jury agreed, finding Constantino guilty on Friday of reckless wounding.

He was earlier acquitted, by judicial direction, of two more serious charges alleging the wounding was intended to prevent his father's arrest or to cause actual bodily harm to the police officer.

Constantino, who served eight months on remand, had his bail continued after verdict.

A sentencing assessment report examining "all available sentencing options" has been ordered ahead of his sentence on December 16.