A Roselands cleaner with no money to her name acted in self-defence when she allegedly attacked a 92-year-old woman with a walking stick, knife and various kitchen crockery, a Sydney court has heard.
Indonesian citizen Hanny Papanicolaou, 35, has been charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after allegedly arriving unannounced at her elderly client's home in Ashbury on January 2.
At a bail application in Burwood Local Court on Wednesday, barrister James Trevallion said Papanicolaou acted in self-defence when the 92-year-old threatened her with a cane and then armed herself with a knife.
Police say the woman remains in a serious condition in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with seven torso wounds, a punctured lung, multiple facial fractures and lacerations, and has undergone surgery to her nose as she was struggling to breathe.
In a statement to police, the woman said "I will never be the same," police prosecutor Sergeant Ernest Chan told the court.
Emergency services were called after a personal panic alarm was activated at 10.45am at an address on Holden Street in Ashbury.
They discovered the elderly mother - who lives at the house alone - bleeding heavily from her scalp and abdomen, police said.
"(She) appeared to have pieces of blue pottery embedded to the rear of her scalp," Sgt Chan said, adding that she was semi-conscious at the time and allegedly told police "the cleaner did it".
The victim was stabbed three times with a knife, court documents state, and was initially placed in an induced coma.
A neighbour who saw someone entering their backyard went to investigate and heard the victim moaning "help, help", the prosecutor said.
Papanicolaou was subsequently arrested in Illawong and was taken to Sutherland Hospital for an ankle injury sustained before her arrest.
The 35-year-old appeared in court via video link on Wednesday and hobbled into the room with crutches before sobbing through proceedings.
Sgt Chan said Papanicolaou had worked for her alleged victim for 12 months and had keys to the home, and had also been a cleaner for the woman's daughter for five years.
"There was an element of planning ... (and) it was committed for potentially financial gain," he said.