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Melbourne Man Charged with Stabbing Spree Refuses to Attend Court Appearance

The man presented with catatonic schizophrenia when he was taken into custody, the court was told.

An accused serial stabber who randomly attacked five people over the weekend has refused to face court or speak to anyone since being thrown behind bars.

Christopher Raftopoulos, 31, is accused of carrying a bag of knives and going on an unprovoked stabbing spree over three hours in Melbourne’s inner suburbs between Jan. 6 and Jan. 7.

He has been charged with 14 counts of assault causing injury and one of possessing a controlled weapon.

Police allege he may have used multiple different knives to stab five people in four separate attacks across the CBD and St Kilda.

Raftopoulos was due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Jan. 8, but he refused to leave his jail cell.

He presented with catatonic schizophrenia when he was taken into custody on Jan. 7, the court was told.

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His lawyer Michael Amad said he had been unable to take any instructions from Raftopoulos, as he was refusing to speak to him.

“I attempted to speak to him about an hour ago and his position is he does not wish to speak to anyone,” he told the court.

“Perhaps if the matter could be adjourned for a few days, he may be in a better place in respect to giving instructions.”

Mr. Amad submitted a mental health report on Raftopoulos to the court, and said his client was not engaged with any mental health services but was previously ordered to undergo community treatment.

He was assessed by a psychiatric nurse through his cell’s trapdoor, but refused to speak to them, the court was told.

Magistrate Rose Falla said he seemed to be “very unwell” and agreed to adjourn the hearing to later in the week, in the hopes his psychiatric condition improves and to give him time to decide whether he will instruct his lawyer.

The court needed to be confident he understood what was happening in his proceedings for it to continue in his absence, Ms. Falla said.

“He’s refusing to engage in the court process as of today,” she said.

Raftopoulos will be taken to a prison psychiatric hospital until he is due to face court via video link on Jan. 5.

Detectives are investigating whether the spree began with the stabbing of a 28-year-old Mount Waverley man on City Road in Southbank at 9.20pm on Jan. 6.

Forty minutes later, a 24-year-old man was stabbed outside a King Street burger store and taken to hospital with a leg injury, police said.

A couple, both aged 31, were stabbed about 11pm, while walking along Dandenong Road in St Kilda East.

The woman is in a serious but stable condition and her partner, a Glen Waverley man, had a serious laceration to his arm.

A 31-year-old English man was attacked on Acland Street in St Kilda at about 12.30am on Jan. 7, and taken to hospital with leg injuries.

Police said none of the victims knew the alleged attacker.

Beyondblue 1300 22 4636

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