Chef charged with attempted murder

AN AGITATED Neil Simpson faced Lismore Local court yesterday charged with the attempted murder of a 46-year-old man in Brisbane last week.

The unemployed 28-year-old former Gold Coast chef, who wasarrested at a takeaway food shop in Byron Bay on Tuesday, also faced assault charges after biting a police officer on the finger at Lismore Base Hospital where he was being assessed after his arrest.

He had told arresting officers that he had gone to Byron Bay looking for work which he hoped to find in a restaurant.

His alleged accomplice, Toni Prestidge, was also charged with attempted murder.

The distraught 35-year-old, from Gordons Park in Brisbane, had turned herself in at Tweed Heads police station shortly after Simpson's arrest on Tuesday.

Her extradition orders were approved by Magistrate R Denes after Corrective Service officers told the court she appeared fearful of Simpson.

She did not apply for bail, which was formally refused, and will face Southport Magistrates Court today.

Simpson's extradition was complicated by the fact Corrective Services would not take custody of him until he had been medically examined, after telling officers he had suffered a stroke last year and was a diabetic.

The court heard that when police officers took him to the hospital for the examination early on Wednesday morning he screamed abuse at medical staff, accusing them of trying to kill him, before assaulting police who were attempting to restrain him.

After biting the officer Simpson then announced he had hepatitis C and HIV.

Magistrate Denes said this would send a chill down the spine of any police officer ‘just doing their job'.

She found Simpson guilty of the assault and sentenced him to five days incarceration, allowing officers time to ‘accommodate' the extradition procedures.

The attempted murder charges relate to a violent incident atKedron, in Brisbane, on January 18.

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