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Cancer researcher ‘had a bloody head and was urging police to shoot him after slashing teenagers’

Sydney cancer researcher Shannon Brett Morrison had a bloody head and was urging police to shoot him after slashing seven teenagers with a knife, a jury has heard.

The UNSW lecturer and pharmaceutical manager doesn’t deny knifing the teenagers in a Turramurra park but has pleaded not guilty to eight charges including six of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

His barrister contends the 35-year-old was not mentally responsible for the late-night events in January 2019 due to a longstanding paranoid delusional mental illness.

One of the first police officers on scene told the NSW District Court jury on Tuesday he found Morrison lying on the ground with a large amount of blood on the back of his head and saying ‘I’ve been stabbed’.

As police treated him, they saw a flick knife nearby and told the researcher he’d be placed under arrest.

He began thrashing about as his pockets were searched and Leading Senior Constable Peter Wallbridge tried to handcuff him.

‘Shoot me, shoot me, you will shoot by the end of the night. Go on, do it,’ L/Sen Const Wallbridge recalled Morrison saying.

While Morrison repeatedly complained of being stabbed in the back, the officer said he found no wounds there.

The jury, sitting in Sydney’s Downing Centre, heard a paramedic noted Morrison required physical and chemical restraint when being taken by ambulance to Westmead Hospital under police guard.

‘Covered in blood, does not appear to be his blood. Stating police should just shoot him,’ crown prosecutor Fiona Gray said, reading the notes.

Blood on the knife was consistent with three DNA profiles of the slashed teens, the jury heard.

Morrison had dined that night at a local restaurant with former colleague Sinead Forbes before the pair made their way towards her car.

When Morrison said he’d walk to the public toilet in the park, Ms Forbes on Tuesday said she sat down on a bench to wait.

Shortly thereafter, she heard yelling in the park, noticed some pushing and shoving and saw Morrison running back up the footpath with a group of young males in tow.

Ms Forbes wasn’t sure how Morrison ended up on the ground but she recalled seeing a group of teenagers around him.

‘There were a few boys, teenagers around him kicking and screaming out ‘You stabbed, you stabbed’,’ she told the jury.

‘It looked like (the kicks were) either to his back or head.’

Ms Forbes said she was frightened, describing how her shaking hands couldn’t unlock her phone as she tried to dial triple zero.

She stayed seated until police arrived, later telling them multiple male teens had been pushing and saying ‘something aggressive’ to Morrison before the incident.

‘The teenagers were getting a bit argy-bargy I think, as he tried to walk past,’ she told the jury.

But she conceded she didn’t see much in the dimly lit park and wasn’t sure what words were said, only that the noises ‘sounded aggressive’.

She said she’d never known the clinical trial project manager to be violent and considered him ‘very honest’.

Morrison has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a prohibited weapon, being the flick knife, and causing actual bodily harm to a girl.

She told the court last week she saw a large man coming towards her on the stairs, swinging his arm around before her brother yelled: ‘He has a knife.’

Agreed facts before the court state Morrison’s blood-alcohol reading was 0.23 per cent while two injured teens requiring surgery were both above 0.11.

The trial continues.

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