A real estate agent accused of stabbing his best friend’s wife in the chest said he “didn’t mean to hurt her, just wanted to scare her” before allegedly plunging a knife into her chest.
Matthew Brian Ramsay, 46, appeared with a shaven head via audiovisual link in Waverley Local Court on Friday after being charged with causing a wound or grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.
Police allege Mr Ramsay stabbed Helen Coulston in the chest after she answered the door of her $4.5m home in Dover Heights on August 8.
Bold Claim From Real Estate Agent Charged with Doorway Stabbing of Sydney Mum
He allegedly plunged a 20cm knife into the chest of the mother-of-two in broad daylight while her husband and children were out of the house.
The court heard he said “Hi Helen, I’m really sorry” before he caused the 4cm puncture wound very close to her heart.
He swung the knife at her again but missed stabbing her a second time, the court was told. Ms Coulston managed to open the front door a fierce struggle ensued.
Ms Coulston’s harrowing screams alerted a nearby tradie to the ordeal on Monday afternoon, and he rushed over to help. The tradie told NCA NewsWire he was able to distract Ms Coulston’s attacker so she could wrestle the knife away from him and throw it onto the grass.
Ms Coulston was allegedly covered in blood and had her arm in a sling when she was wheeled out in an ambulance. She is now recovering at home.
Mr Ramsay was arrested a short time later at the traffic lights on Campbell Parade in Bondi Beach. Footage from the arrest appears to show an officer pointing a gun at the 46-year-old while yelling at him to “get down on the ground”.
Mr Ramsay told police he hadn’t intended to wound Ms Coulston, the court heard, allegedly telling officers: “I didn’t mean to hurt her, I just wanted to scare her..”
The court heard the father-of-one has been struggling with “significant mental health issues” for years, with numerous past stays in rehabilitation.
Defence lawyer Ben Clark said his client was not the first person to struggle with addiction to come before the court after taking unsuccessful steps towards rehabilitation.
“Without a doubt alcohol has been an enormous issue throughout his life,” he said.
The court heard Mr Ramsay had taken 120mg of Valium
The court heard Mr Ramsay had taken 120mg of Valium before approaching Ms Coulston.
Mr Clark told the court it would be best for Mr Ramsay to be released on bail to a “particularly vigorous” rehabilitation facility in Port Stephens.
“I’m asking for him to come out of custody and effectively go back straight into custody,” he said.
The court heard the former real estate agent would be under “house arrest” at the Global Connect rehabilitation facility and would not be permitted to leave. He would also not be allowed to communicate with the outside world and would be subject to random drug and alcohol tests regularly.
“In some ways it’s probably more onerous than prison,” Mr Clark said.
The police prosecutor opposed bail, arguing that Mr Ramsay posed a significant risk to Ms Coulston and would possibly be able to escape the rehabilitation centre.
Mr. Ramsay had number of outstanding payments at the time of the alleged stabbing.
The court heard Mr Ramsay was recently unemployed and had a number of outstanding payments at the time of the alleged stabbing.
Magistrate Ross Hudson said there was no animosity between the 46-year-old and Ms Coulston that could have led to the alleged altercation.
“There appears to be some absurdity as to his actions. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to what he did that day,” he said.
The magistrate noted Mr Ramsay had been medicating himself with alcohol for depression, and called his alleged behaviour was “totally unpredictable”.
He determined that treatment would best further the case and granted Mr Ramsay strict conditional bail.
The former real estate agent will be collected from prison on Monday and taken to the residential rehab centre in Swan Bay.
He will remain at the facility for at least six months. He is likely to interact with another well-known inhabitant, former TV personality Andrew O’Keefe, who has resided at the rehab for months.
Mr Ramsay is forbidden to contact the Coulstons or to enter the eastern suburbs of Sydney.
Mr Coulston and Mr Ramsay had been friends since school and were both prominent in real estate, where Mr Ramsay was involved in billions of dollars worth of property deals before parting ways with his employer.
Mr Ramsay was the best man at the Coulstons’ wedding and is the godfather to one of their children.
He will return to Waverley Local Court on October 19.
If found guilty, the court heard Mr Ramsay could be sentenced to up to 25 years imprisonment.