Eric Moefili: Man accused of stabbing Westmead Hospital staff placed in jumpsuit inside suicide watch cell

The Sunday Telegraph, 23 June 2024

A man accused of stabbing two hospital security guards was taken to Westmead Hospital after reporting for parole where it was believed he had “something wrong with him” with a court also hearing he had 10 grams of ice concealed “in his system”.

Eric Moefili did not apply for bail at Parramatta Local Court on Sunday with his solicitor, Skye Cesarone, saying he was “currently in a white jumpsuit” and placed in a suicide watch cell and was “worried” about the methamphetamine “affecting him”.

It comes after police were called to Westmead Hospital about 11.30pm on Friday, following reports a 39-year-old mentally ill patient had allegedly assaulted a nurse and attacked three guards.

Two male security guards, aged 25 and 26, were allegedly stabbed and suffered lacerations to the wrist and neck.

A third male security guard suffered a dislocated shoulder.

A 29-year-old male nurse sustained minor injuries during the alleged incident.

Moefili remained in hospital under police guard for some time before he was arrested and taken to Parramatta police station.

He was charged with two counts of assault frontline health worker causing actual bodily harm; assault frontline health worker but not causing actual bodily harm; common assault; and use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention.

Court documents state the alleged offending occurred between 11.20pm and 11.30pm on Friday.

Given her client was in a suicide watch cell, Ms Cesarone appealed for him to be discharged back into the care of the hospital.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart asked whether police prosecutor David Tran opposed the application, saying “why should he be taken to another hospital”.

“Given the seriousness … I’m opposed to the [application],” Mr Tran said.

“Any treatment can be sought in custody … my submission [is he is] a massive risk to the community.”

The court heard Moefili was already on parole for armed robbery and when reporting on Friday, it was believed he had “something wrong with him”.

He was subsequently taken to the hospital where he allegedly had a knife on him.

Ms Cesarone said she was instructed by Moefili, a nurse in corrective services had “refused to deal with him” with the magistrate making a “recommendation to justice health” for him to be seen.

“If it gives your honour some comfort … [it is] stated in the facts … he is medically cleared by the hospital [to be in police custody],” Mr Tran said.

When asked whether Moefili was on any medication, Ms Cesarone said he wasn’t.

Moefili was formally refused bail by Mr Stoddart, given the “danger to the health workers” with the matter returning to Parramatta Local Court on Monday.

In wake of the alleged attack, Health Services Union boss Gerard Hayes called for security to be armed with defensive equipment, saying hospital security had no legal power to be able to physically defend hospital staff.