Chilling find in ‘hotel hammer attack’
A man who allegedly attempted to murder a woman using a mini sledgehammer at a high-end Sydney hotel was carrying a loaded pistol when he launched the brutal attack, police allege.
Handwritten notes, sodden from heavy rain, were also discovered in the Blue Mountains National Park where the man was apprehended on Thursday afternoon, according to police.
The woman, a Belarus national aged 26, was found with severe injuries to her face and skull at the luxury Primus Hotel on Pitt Street on Tuesday night.
Following the grim discovery at the five-star hotel, police launched a manhunt for her alleged attacker, 41-year-old Matthew Donaldson.
Acting Superintendent Paul Dunstan said on Friday afternoon Mr Donaldson had been spotted on CCTV leaving Lapstone train station about 10.30pm on Wednesday evening.
Just before 5pm the next day, he was found by the dog squad in thick bushland on the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park.
On Friday morning, Superintendent Dunstan said, Mr Donaldson returned to the area under a heavy police guard where a backpack containing the loaded pistol was located.
Police will allege it was in his possession at the time of the offence, but do not believe he used it.
He holds a firearms licence, Mr Dunstan said.
Police also discovered a shopping bag and handwritten notes, but will not yet reveal what they said.
"They got quite wet, so they need to be dried off and read thoroughly," Mr Dunstan said.
The victim of the brutal attack remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital, with police still desperately trying to contact her family overseas.
Police allege she was randomly selected and had no prior relationship with her alleged attacker.
"It's going to be a very very long road to recovery for that lady," Mr Dunstan said.
Mr Donaldson has been charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to murder and with firearms offences.
He was refused bail to front Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.
Originally published as Chilling find in 'hotel hammer attack': cops