By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
A Sydney man who pounced on police with a large knife while high on ice has apologised to the officer who was forced to shoot him in the stomach, one year later.
Robert Hampton was high on methamphetamine when he attempted to run through the gates of Campbelltown Train Station in Sydney’s west, after refusing to buy a ticket in May last year.
As police officers approached the man and asked he show them a valid train ticket, the 40-year-old suddenly became aggressive and began hurling swear words at them, before drawing out a knife around 30 centimetres long from under his hoodie.
CCTV and police body camera captured the incident, revealing Mr Hampton lunged at officers from the Police Transport Command on Hurley Street.
Police were left no choice but to taser the man.
Nevertheless, the taser was unable to hinder Mr Hampton, who continued to threaten officers.
After one last aggressive confrontation by Mr Hampton, police were forced to fire a single shot to his stomach, which brought him to the ground.
Mr Hampton was rushed to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition.
He underwent emergency service, while the officer who shot him down was assisted by counsellors, leaving NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell to acknowledge that “policing is a dangerous job” and that “it is concerning that anybody would carry a knife in public”.
Mr Hampton was charged with several offences, including wounding with intent, use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, and travel or attempt travel without valid ticket.
Now, one year later, the prisoner has said sorry to the police officer who was left to open fire on him.
Mr Hampton Apologises to Police Officer; Tells Court He Smoked Ice for a Week Before and Thought People Were Out to Get Him
On 13 May 2020, Mr Hampton faced court where he apologised to the police officer who opened fire at him.
The prisoner acknowledged that he did not intend to hurt anyone as he wielded his knife in broad daylight following the tense stand-off that day.
“I know it was his job to arrest me and do what he had to do,” he said. “I didn’t have the intention of hurting anyone… it wasn’t aimed at him or any member of the public,” Mr Hampton said.
The court also heard the 40-year-old confess that he has had a drug problem since the young age of 11 and prior to the incident, had started smoking ice for a week.
He had also started hearing voices in his head.
“It started a couple of days before that. Negative information that people were out to get me. It wasn’t good,” Mr Hampton said.
For this reason, he armed himself with the large knife, which he bought from Woolworths in Minto.
Mr Hampton Admits Incident Woke Him Up; Seeks to Address Drug Problem
During Mr Hampton’s hearing, the court also heard the prisoner reflect upon the incident which he said had given him a stark reality check.
“What happened to me has really woken me up,” the prisoner told the District Court.
“I know ice isn’t the best thing for me.”
Mr Hampton now wants to partake in drug rehabilitation.
This is something he has never previously considered over the period of his 30-year addiction.
Meanwhile, during the hearing, Mr Hampton also declared that following the altercation, he had to undergo emergency surgery, spend three months in hospital, and now wears a colostomy bag in jail.
This offence also attracts a 7-year standard non-parole period, which represents the minimum period of full-time jail before being eligible for release on a parole period if the case fits in the mid-range of objective seriousness for offence of this kind.
The standard non-parole period is not imposed in a mandatory way. This means that the sentencing court does not have to impose it even if the case falls within the scope of it applying.
Wounding is understood as carrying out an act to hurt someone that causes a rupture in the skin.
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