A 51-year-old has appealed his sentence over the incident at a public hospital.
A 51-year-old has appealed his sentence over the incident at a public hospital. Rob Williams

Man in 'manic state' chased people in hospital with knife

A MAN who violently wielded a knife in a public hospital, chasing members of the public, was in a "manic state" at the time, a court has heard.

Mark Anthony Collis Moore, 51, appeared via video link before Lismore District Court on Tuesday to appeal his sentence of 30 months' prison, including 18 months without parole.

He earlier received that sentence before Tweed Heads Local Court for two counts of using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, two counts of affray and resisting police.

The court heard Moore wielded a 35cm knife in the waiting room of the Tweed Hospital's emergency department on December 29 last year.

He also threatened to stab staff members and chased members of the public.

Moore's solicitor, Hugh van Dugteren, acknowledged "a number of people would have been terrified" of his client's behaviour.

"Mr Moore's not proud of what he did on that day," he said.

The court heard Mr Moore suffered from schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication at the time of the incident.

He had been living on the streets at the time.

Mr van Dugteren asked Judge Julia Baly to consider giving his client a longer parole period.

"This is a man who needs assistance, not only with his mental health issued but his drug issues," Mr van Dugteren said.

"He tells me he's not using drugs in jail. When he gets released to the community he's going to need ... one-on-one drug therapy or to go to rehabilitation."

The DPP prosecutor told the court Mr Moore had "an extensive criminal history" and had "previously been convicted of nine personal violence offences".

She said he also had an outstanding arrest warrant relating to a break-in in Queensland.

"The appellant wielded a knife toward staff in a public hospital waiting room, threatened to stab them," she said.

She said the incident resulted in two staff members "having to hide behind nearby bushes".

The court heard Mr Moore had a "high risk of re-offending" and had limited insight into his behaviour last December.

Judge Baly found Mr Moore's mental illness was "operative and causal so far as the offending is concerned".

She said the incident "must have terrified victims" and noted a police officer sustained a needle-stick injury while they tried to sedate Mr Moore after taking him to Tweed Heads Police Station.

She found the original sentence imposed by the Local Court Magistrate was "appropriate" but accepted Moore should be eligible for more time on parole.

"He needs a lot of assistance and supervision upon his release to the community," Judge Baly said.

She upheld the appeal in part, reducing Moore's non-parole period to 14 months.



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