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NSW cop stabber facing more time in jail

A violin prodigy who stabbed two police officers understands his chances of being released from prison immediately will be difficult even if he is found not guilty, a court has been told.

It is up to a Newcastle District Court judge to decide if Oliver Tam Scales-Copeland should remain locked up in Long Bay jail's psychiatric hospital for some time, receiving treatment for schizophrenia, his barrister Wali Shukoor says.

The court has been told Scales-Copeland's condition has only slightly improved since the stabbing took place eight months ago.

Judge Tim Gartelmann is due to hand down his verdict next Friday.

Two psychiatrists, Dr Olav Nielssen and Dr Richard Furst, told the court they believed Scales-Copeland was suffering from chronic schizophrenia and substance abuse disorder when he stabbed the officers on October 6 last year.

The psychiatrists agreed Scales-Copeland's cocaine use exacerbated his schizophrenia before the attack but he had been mentally ill for a number of years.

They said Scales-Copeland was aware of what he was doing when stabbing the officers but did not know it was wrong.

Prosecutor Kristy Mulley told the judge on Friday the unanimous medical evidence confirming Scales-Copeland's schizophrenia meant he should be found not guilty because of mental illness.

Scales-Copeland claimed he was awake all night after taking cocaine before driving from Sydney to Lake Macquarie on October 6 and attacking the two senior constables about 1pm outside a Toronto service station.

He admits stabbing the officers but denies criminal liability because of his mental illness.

Dr Furst said Scales-Copeland had been suffering "acute psychotic symptoms" at the time of the stabbing and remained psychotic for several months after his arrest.

Scales-Copeland, from Bronte in Sydney's east, has pleaded not guilty due to mental illness to two counts of wounding with intent to prevent arrest.

He also faces two alternative counts of reckless wounding, one count of using an offensive weapon to intimidate, and an alternative count of assault.

The 26-year-old, who has been in custody since his arrest, is the son of Greens councillor George Copeland on Sydney's Waverley Council.

Dr Furst told the court Scales-Copeland was having paranoid delusions, believing his life was in danger, when he stabbed the officers.

Scales-Copeland was wearing only red underpants when he began threatening motorists with a knife at the petrol station before the two police officers approached him.

When ordered to drop the knife, Scales-Copeland called out, "Come on dogs, I'll take you on."

The officers used capsicum spray and a baton to try to disarm Scales-Copeland and were wrestling with him when he stabbed one officer five times in the left thigh and the other officer once in the right hand, cutting one finger to the bone.

Both officers opened fire on Scales-Copeland but missed before he was arrested with the help of bystanders.

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