Violinist fights police stabbing charges

Mark Russell
Oliver Tam Scales-Copeland says he was mentally ill when he stabbed two police officers

A NSW violin prodigy claimed he had to get out of Sydney because the city had no ozone layer, before driving 125km to Lake Macquarie where he stabbed two police officers, a court has has been told.

Oliver Tam Scales-Copeland said he was awake all night after taking cocaine before allegedly attacking the two senior constables outside a Toronto service station.

He called out, "come on you dogs, I'll take you on" before lunging at the officers, prosecutor Kristy Mulley told the Newcastle District Court on Thursday.

Scales-Copeland, from Bronte in Sydney's east, has pleaded not guilty due to mental illness to two counts of wounding with intent to prevent arrest.

He also faces two alternative counts of reckless wounding, one count of using an offensive weapon to intimidate and an alternative count of assault.

The 26-year-old is the son of Greens councillor George Copeland on Waverley Council.

Scales-Copeland told police during an interview after his arrest he had no idea how he ended up in Toronto, but had got lost and his rental car started to overheat.

He said he had to get out of Sydney because "there's no ozone layer and radiation going on" and his car had broken down and had to be moved because it had a "nuclear core" and was dangerous.

Ms Mulley told the court Scales-Copeland was wearing only red underpants about 1pm on Sunday, October 6, when he began threatening motorists with a knife at a Toronto intersection.

When two police officers approached him at the Caltex service station and ordered him to drop the knife, he allegedly called out, "come on dogs, I'll take you on".

The officers used capsicum spray and a baton to try to disarm Scales-Copeland and were wrestling with him when he stabbed one senior constable five times in the left thigh and the other officer once in the right hand, cutting one finger to the bone.

When Scales-Copeland allegedly started advancing on the officer with the seriously-injured hand, the policeman ran into traffic. He chased the policeman, who could feel him slashing at the back of his vest.

The prosecutor said this officer, who initially had problems unholstering his gun because of his serious hand injury, which later required surgery, fired two shots at Scales-Copeland but missed.

The second officer yelled "drop the knife or we'll have to shoot", but he allegedly kept advancing so the policeman fired but also missed before his gun jammed.

Ms Mulley said Scales-Copeland was eventually arrested with the help of a number of bystanders after dropping the knife.

When later questioned by police, he claimed to have no memory of stabbing the officers.

The prosecutor said there was no dispute about what Scales-Copeland had done but claimed he was mentally ill at the time.

Two psychiatrists were expected to give evidence confirming he could claim mental illness as a defence.

The judge-alone trial before Judge Tim Gartelmann resumes on Friday.

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