Accused paedophile in hospital with self-inflicted wound

A FORMER St John's College, Woodlawn, teacher charged with 36 child sex offences against former students could face a bedside hearing this morning after suffering a self-inflicted stab wound.

When Richard O'Connor failed to appear at Lismore Local Court on Monday to answer the charges, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Lismore Local Court heard yesterday O'Connor was a patient at Lismore Base Hospital.

"The hospital refuses to release him due to his medical condition for up to three days," police prosecutor Sergeant Peter Costin-Neilsen said.

Sgt Costin-Neilsen said O'Connor was under police guard in hospital.

"At this stage all I can tell the court is that he is suffering a stab wound, a self inflicted stab wound so I'm told," he said.

He asked Magistrate David Heilpern to consider having a bedside hearing.

Mr Heilpern said: "I am aware there is considerable public interest in this matter."

He noted the packed court gallery and the fact some spectators waited all day on Monday for O'Connor to appear.

"They won't be able to be present at a bedside hearing," he said.

Mr Heilpern listed O'Connor's bedside hearing for 2.30pm yesterday.,

However, it was cancelled because O'Connor was still being treated in hospital.

Lismore police Inspector Bill McKenna said: "It is anticipated that he will appear before the court tomorrow."

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