Cleaner accused of stabbing 92yo client in ‘frenzied attack’ refused bail
A cleaner charged with beating and stabbing her 92-year-old client in her own home — in what police described as a “frenzied attack” — has been refused bail by a Sydney court.
- Police allege Hanny Papanicolaou, 35, had a gambling addiction and ‘no money in the bank’
- 92yo victim suffered seven torso wounds, a punctured lung and multiple facial fractures
- Ms Papanicolaou has been working at the home for 12 months
Hanny Papanicolaou, 35, quietly cried during her bail application hearing as she appeared via video link from Silverwater Women’s prison.
The Indonesian national is charged with attempted murder and wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after allegedly beating and stabbing 92-year-old Marjorie Welsh at her Ashbury home last Wednesday.
Throughout the lengthy hearing in the Burwood local court on Wednesday, Ms Welsh’s family sobbed as the police prosecutor detailed the violent incident.
Ms Papanicolaou was employed as the elderly woman’s cleaner for 12 months prior to the attack and police alleged she armed herself with a walking stick, knife and multiple sets of crockery to harm Ms Welsh.
But Ms Papanicolaou’s solicitor James Trevallion told the court his client had acted in self-defence after the elderly woman armed herself with a knife.
Ms Welsh remains in a serious condition at Royal Prince Alfred hospital after suffering seven torso wounds, a punctured lung, multiple facial fractures and lacerations to the back of her head.
The court heard Ms Welsh had surgery as a result of the attack to remove her gall bladder, as well as nose surgery to assist her breathing.
Mr Chan told the court Ms Welsh would suffer permanent disfigurement to her face as a result of the alleged attack.
“The offences were targeted, they were unprovoked, they were vicious,” police prosecutor Ernest Chan said.
“It was a frenzied attack on a vulnerable 92-year-old.”
The court heard the alleged attacker was a gambling addict who made inquiries into the sale of Ms Welsh’s property and had a “heavily mortgaged” home.
“She has no money in her bank account and a gambling addiction,” Mr Chan said.
“On the morning of this incident she had been gambling at the Canterbury leagues club.”
The claim was disputed by Mrs Papanicolaou’s solicitor James Trevallion.
“She told police she was there at 9:00am, that doesn’t mean she goes every day,” he said.
The court heard the accused, who appealed for bail, was a mother of two and was still breastfeeding her 3-month-old son.
Magistrate Louise McManus rejected the bail application on the grounds that Ms Papanicolaou presented an unacceptable risk to the complainant and her family, as well as an unacceptable flight risk.
Mr Trevallion indicated the matter would go to trial and described the attempted murder charge as “weak”.
He did not formally enter a plea on his client’s behalf.
The matter will return to court in March.