A MAN has pleaded not guilty to stabbing a Kmart employee in the face after he was allegedly detected shoplifting in Tamworth.
Brendan Peter Suey was taken to hospital on Monday for a mental health assessment after his case was briefly mentioned in Tamworth Local Court.
The 38-year-old was arrested in Fitzroy Plaza on Sunday just minutes after allegedly stabbing the Kmart employee with a pair of scissors.
Police allege Suey tried to steal a bluetooth speaker from the department store about 12.15pm.
Oxley Detective Acting Inspector Jason Darcy said an employee stopped the accused as he walked out of the store.
It was at this time when he was ushered back into the store when he is alleged to have turned on the employee, grabbing a pair of scissors to attack him.
"About 12.15pm on Sunday, a 49-year-old male [employee] received a superficial wound to his face near his right eye," he told the Leader.
"The male has then left the scene."
The store employee was treated at the scene by ambulance paramedics before being taken to Tamworth hospital for treatment of his wound.
About 12.15pm on Sunday, a 49-year-old male [employee] received a superficial wound to his face near his right eye," he told the Leader.Oxley Detective Acting Inspector Jason Darcy
Police were alerted and, within minutes, set up a crime scene, as detectives combed the area and officers scoured the CBD for their suspect.
The Leader was there in Fitzroy Plaza as a female officer stopped Suey in his tracks as he walked along, ordering him against a wall before handcuffing him.
Several other officers came running in to back up the senior constable, who had single-handedly arrested him.
Police searched Suey, then took him to the Tamworth station for questioning.
He was then charged with reckless wounding and shoplifting, and denied bail.
Suey spent the night in custody and, in an appearance at court on Monday afternoon, entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of reckless wounding.
He pleaded guilty to shoplifting.
Magistrate Roger Prowse ordered the 38-year-old be taken to hospital for assessment and care or treatment if needed. He will return to court at a later date.
Detective Darcy confirmed the man had been released from hospital and praised officers for the quick arrest.