Sydney stabbing: ‘Chair man’ identity revealed as lawyer John Bamford

A Sydney lawyer has been revealed as the man who chased a crazed alleged stabber through the CBD yesterday.

John Bamford was walking along York St when he sprung into action, nabbing a single wicker chair from a nearby cafe, chasing Mert Young down the street.

The mysterious “Chair Man” was praised a hero by police, along with countless others who dramatically restrained the 21-year-old after his alleged stabbing frenzy on Tuesday afternoon.

While Mr Bamford still hasn’t spoken publicly about the ordeal, nearby office workers said he was back at work today going about his business.

“He was very brave,” one woman told

The chair Mr Bamford used has since been labelled “famous” and returned to its cafe home.

Mr Bamford is among the last of the heroes to be identified after NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said they didn’t want to miss any person who may have “acted courageously” during the apprehension.

Traffic controller Steven Georgiadas estimates there were up to 15 people involved in the chase.

A hero himself, Mr Georgiadas first attempted to crash tackle Mert Ney before standing on the “massive” knife allegedly used to stab Linda Bo, 41, woman in the back at Hotel CBD and slit the throat of Michaela Dunn, 24, in a Clarence Street in the CBD on Tuesday afternoon.

“I heard some screaming and shouting coming from (Wynyard Park),” he told

“It was really, really loud — ‘Stop him, get out of the way’ — with a whole stack of men chasing him.

“I responded really quickly because I’ve had a similar incident before.”

READ MORE: The mystery 20 minutes with Sydney ‘sex worker’

The man who approached the knifeman with a cafe chair has yet to speak‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraThe man who approached the knifeman with a cafe chair has yet to speak publicly.
Cafe worker Marco La Motta said the man just grabbed the chair as he was running‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraCafe worker Marco La Motta said the man just grabbed the chair as he was running past.

Mr Georgiadas said he’d previously had to crash tackle a robber running from some nearby stores.

“I was ready to crash tackle him but as I’ve got up to him I saw he had this massive knife pointed down towards the ground,” he said.

“As soon as I saw the knife I moved to the side so I could crash tackle him sideways so he wouldn’t stab me.

“By that time someone had hit him from behind with a chair. It all happened so quickly.

“He stumbled and the knife, thank God, fell out of his hand. The first thing I did was stand on the knife, meanwhile the others were right on his heels.”

Steven Georgiadas shows the spot where he stood on Mert Ney’s ‘massive’ butcher’s‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraSteven Georgiadas shows the spot where he stood on Mert Ney’s ‘massive’ butcher’s knife.

The group of men included local office workers and firefighters who chased the 21-year-old down carrying anything they could find — crow bars, awes and cafe chairs, finally pinning him down with a milk crate.

But Mr Georgiadas said he didn’t have a weapon to arm himself with.
“I was going to stop him,” he said.

“My instinct kicked in. I didn’t know what he’d done, I thought maybe he robbed somebody.

“I thought they were going to kill him. I got scared. I was screaming at the top of my voice for them to stop kicking him.

“I had nothing when I approached him. I saw the knife and I knew how to handle the situation because the knife was too high to kick so I had to tackle him. I almost had him so thank the lord he stumbled and seconds after he got hit in the back.”

Ney was trapped with milk crate. Picture: Channel‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraNey was trapped with milk crate. Picture: Channel 7

The man with the chair is a bank worker in the CBD while Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O’Shaughnessy ran from a nearby office.

“There were a lot of heroes,” Mr Georgiadas said.

“A lot of them chased him without a weapon on them. We’re all heroes, we all responded I think in a heroic matter.

“I would have got him, I’m telling you. I played a bit of rugby when I was young and even though I’m nearly 68, I would have got him.”

Paul O’Shaughnessy, 37, told The Australian it was an “ordinary day” in the office until he looked out the window and saw Ney on the street below with a knife in his hand.

He alerted his brother Luke, 30, but by then, the man had fled so they followed a trail of blood until they found him.

“You could see drips, — the blood was on the ground,” he told The Australian. “Like drips so you could see it, see where’s he’s gone.”

“My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don’t know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things,” he said.

Alex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O'Shaughnessy who jumped into help. Picture: Toby‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraAlex Roberts, Lee Cuthbert and Paul O’Shaughnessy who jumped into help. Picture: Toby Zerna

The men were praised as “heroes of the highest order” for their role in pinning him down before anyone else was stabbed.

They gave a shoutout to the other bystanders, like the man with the chair, who also confronted the alleged attacker.

“The guys that followed him through the streets with various weapons and all sorts of things, they’re the heroes,” Lee told Today this morning. “There was two gentlemen who got to him first, and they were the real heroes.”

Police this morning revealed more details about Ney’s erratic rampage.

Ney is now being treated at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he is being guarded by police. Picture: Seven‘Chair-man’-identity-revealed-as-lawyer-John-Bamford”/>
media_cameraNey is now being treated at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he is being guarded by police. Picture: Seven News

Commissioner Fuller said Ney went on to the street to “kill more people”.

However, he said Ney’s criminal history was “not remarkable”.

“He has some low-level issues around theft, malicious damage,” he said.

“He had some domestic violence issues linked back to his family, that again, were not significant or serious injuries.

“However, they were being investigated. But if you look at his spreadsheet from a criminal history perspective, it remains unremarkable.”

He added that Ney was listed by his family as a missing person.

Originally published as ‘Chair Man’ hero’s identity revealed

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