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    A man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly attacking a woman with a sledgehammer inside a five-star Sydney CBD hotel.

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      Attempted Murder

      Man Charged with Attempted Murder in Five-Star Hotel

      After a manhunt, a 41-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly attacking a woman with a sledgehammer inside a five-star Sydney CBD hotel.

      Matthew Donaldson was arrested two days after a woman was found seriously injured at the Primus Hotel on Pitt Street, Sydney.

      Police found Donaldson in dense bushland in the lower Blue Mountains.

      Shockingly, it is alleged that the Accused posted images of the hotel room on Facebook around the time of the incident.

      He is currently bail refused and will remain in custody.

      What We Know

      The alleged victim is a 26-year-old Belarus national. Police claim that in late February 2021, Mr Donaldson took the woman to the Primus Hotel where he had booked a room.

      There, he is said to have brutally attacked her with a sledgehammer.

      The woman was found in the room at approximately 11pm. Emergency services were called and treated her at the scene for head and facial injuries. She was then taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she remains in a serious condition.

      As part of their inquiries, detectives executed a search warrant at a Kingswood unit on Wednesday afternoon, seizing knives, ammunition and other weapons.

      How Police Caught Matthew Donaldson

      After he left the hotel, police say he took a train to the blue mountains. They claimed to have seen him on CCTV footage from train stations.

      Law enforcement officials initially said they believed Donaldson could be armed with a firearm and urged the public to come forward with information.

      Police then attended the area to conduct an extensive search. Officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), and the Dog Unit assisted with search.

      Donaldson was ultimately arrested at about 4.50pm on Thursday, 25 February 2021.

      He was taken to Springwood Police Station before being transferred to hospital for treatment.

      Police returned to the bushland with Mr Donaldson the next day where he led them to a firearm.

      Facebook Post Before Alleged Attempted Murder

      Hours before the alleged assault, Mr Donaldson shared a post on his Facebook account.

      He posted an image of the Primus hotel room he was staying at and wrote that he was playing the “life or death” game. The images were captioned “game over”.

      Matthew Donaldson’s Facebook Post

      Accused speaks to media

      As he was led in handcuffs by officers, members of the media asked him whether there was anything he wanted to say to the complainant or her family.

      He replied, “I think about it every second”.

      Charged with Attempted Murder

      Matthew Donaldson was charged with five offences, including causing wounding or grievous bodily harm to a person with the intent to murder, wounding a person with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possessing a loaded firearm in a public place and without a permit.

      He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court where his Parramatta criminal lawyers will decide whether to apply for bail.

      What is Attempted Murder?

      Section 27 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) defines attempted murder as if you administer to, or cause to be taken by, any person any poison, or other destructive thing, or by any means wound, or cause grievous bodily harm to any person,with intent in any such case to commit murder.

      There are additional attempted murder offences under Section 28-30 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

      Defences to Attempted Murder

      The following are defences to attempted murder charge:

      1. Identification: The prosecution cannot prove you were responsible for attempted murder. If your DNA or fingerprints were found at the scene, we can instruct our team of DNA and fingerprint experts to cast doubt on this evidence;
      2. Self-defence: This is a common defence. Your actions were necessary to defend yourself and a reasonable response in the circumstances.
      3. Causation: Your actions did not cause the injury
      4. You did not foresee the probability of the alleged victim dying due to your actions
      5. Death was not a natural consequence of your act or failure to act
      6. You had no intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. Intoxication may be relevant to this
      7. Duress: You were forced to commit the offence
      8. You needed to commit the offence
      9. Your act was involuntary (eg. you were asleep, you had a spasm)
      10. can be used to reduce a charge of attempted murder to attempted manslaughter

      What is the Penalty for Attempted Murder?

      The maximum penalty for attempted murder is 25 years imprisonment.  

      There is a standard non-parole period of 10 years imprisonment. This is the amount of time you must spend in jail before you can be granted parole. While this is not mandatory and will vary with each case, it is a starting point for the Court.

      Every person found guilty of attempted murder has been sentenced to jail. The length of imprisonment ranges from 15 years imprisonment and above.

      It will come as no surprise that jail is unavoidable if you are found guilty of this offence. That is why it is crucial for you to have Australia’s best murder lawyers by your side.

      Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

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