A delusional man thought he was stabbing a vampire when he struck a police officer in the neck with scissors before threatening a family with a shovel, a court has heard.
Richard Zoltan Babos was suffering from a drug-induced psychosis when approached by the policeman and a colleague in Inala, south of Brisbane, in May 2019 over goods he stole about 10 days earlier.
Babos told the officers not to come near him and started running away when told he was under arrest for stealing, the Brisbane District Court was told on Thursday.
When tackled to the ground, Babos overpowered the police even as they tried to taser him.
During the struggle the now 31-year-old screamed while stabbing an officer in the left side of his neck.
The policeman was left with a 2.5 centimetre laceration to his jugular vein that penetrated nearly seven centimetres into his neck.
"He could have bled to death at the scene," prosecutor Judy Geary said.
One of two people who came to the officers' aid removed the scissors before Babos fled, running into a nearby yard less than an hour later where he picked up a shovel.
Inside the house Babos demanded car keys from a couple and their children saying he was going to be killed by police.
They followed him to the car, asking for their house key and items from the vehicle when an officer climbed over the fence.
The father of the family grabbed Babos, the pair struggling before officers made an arrest.
The incident affected the adults and children according to a statement they provided to the court, Chief Judge Brian Devereaux told Babos while handing down the sentence.
"It was, as one might think, terrifying for them," he said.
"They ask that you be told they have forgiven you."
Judge Devereaux said it was clear from a report that Babos was psychotic when the offences occurred and it was brought on by the use of amphetamines.
Defence barrister Jessica Horne said Babos struck the officer during a struggle in which he feared for his life due to delusional beliefs, according to an expert report provided to the court.
"He didn't appreciate the complainant was a police officer and he reacted in fear ... to save his life and get himself away," she added.
"The fear was that the police officer was a vampire or a demon."
Babos was first charged with attempting to murder the officer, but the Crown last week accepted his plea of guilty to grievous bodily harm.
He also pleaded guilty to burglary by break-in while armed, trespass, stealing, obstructing a police officer and common assault.
The court heard Babos committed the offences while on parole, on a suspended sentence and in breach of a probation order.
Judge Devereaux handed Babos a head sentence of five-and-a-half years' jail.
Babos is eligible to apply immediately for parole, with Judge Devereaux expecting it would be about six months before the application will be heard due to delays.
Australian Associated Press