Rory Constantino stabbed plain clothes cop with a ‘spear’ in Sydney: Though officer was a ‘thug’
Man who stabbed a plainclothes cop with a ‘makeshift spear’ mistakenly believed the cop who broke his door open was a ‘thug’ seeking to harm his family
- Sydney man on trial for stabbing a cop terrified ‘thugs’ would come for him
- Rory James Constantino Pleaded Not Guilty To Injuring Officer Jacob Vella
- Man stabbed officer with makeshift spear after breaking door
- The officer said he thought he would die from a stab in the neck
A Sydney man on trial for stabbing a plainclothes officer was terrified that ‘criminals’ had broken into his door and were out to hurt him and his family, his lawyer says.
Rory James Constantino pleaded not guilty Wednesday to wounding Officer Jacob Vella in order to avoid the arrest of his father Ricky Constantino at their Sadleir home on June 11, 2019.
He also denies charges of recklessly inflicting bodily harm on a police officer.
A Downing Center District Court jury was told that Constable Vella and a colleague arrived early in the morning with a warrant for Constantino Sr.’s arrest, spoke to the younger Constantino through a partially opened door and then broke open the door.
Const Vella chased Constantino down a hallway to the accused man’s bedroom, where he grabbed a makeshift spear and stabbed the police officer.
Rory James Constantino believed ‘thugs’ were after him and pleaded not guilty to stabbing a police officer with a makeshift spear
The police then withdrew from the house.
A medical expert is expected to tell the jury that the one- to two-inch cut on the officer’s neck and a deeper wound on his right wrist were “possibly life-threatening,” prosecutor Leon Apostle said in his opening statement.
“Constable Vella thought he was going to die,” said Mr. Apostle.
Paramedics and other police later arrived on the scene, the injured officer was taken to hospital and Constantino was taken to a police station.
While Constantino admits to stabbing and wounding Const Vella, the trial would be about whether Constantino intended to prevent his father’s lawful arrest and whether the police were acting in accordance with their duty, the suspect’s lawyer said.
Constantino was chased down the hallway to his bedroom by police before stabbing the officer in the neck with the sharp object
The officers were not in uniform, had not arrived in a police car and were wearing dark black hoodies when they banged on the front door before dawn on June 11, attorney Brett Eurell said.
“He thought they were criminals. He thought his house was being raided,’ Mr Eurell said.
“(He) was terrified that these black-clad people who have invaded his house are there to hurt him and his family.”
The Crown expects Const Vella and his partner to testify that they identified themselves to Constantino through the front door, both verbally and by the partner showing his NSW Police-issued badge.
The young man said “paranoia overtook him” and said he didn’t know it was police because they were in casual clothes and he’d never seen a badge
A taped interview between Constantino and the police is expected to be played before the jury, in which the accused man said he had never seen a real police badge and that “paranoia had gotten the better of him.”
Mr Apostle said his closing speech would be “a big part” of Constantino’s account of what he told his father after the injured Const Vella and his partner withdrew from the house.
“The officer said he was stabbed in the neck,” Constantino said, according to police interrogation.
The court trial is expected to take approximately seven days.