Former councillor who attacked 81-year-old woman has been discharged from rehabilitation centre, yet to turn himself into police

Former councillor who attacked 81-year-old woman has been discharged from rehabilitation centre, yet to turn himself into police
Image: Ex-Waverley councillor Sam Einfeld

City Hub can reveal that a former local councillor who attacked an 81-year-old woman in her home recently tested positive to multiple substances and was immediately discharged from his rehabilitation centre. He is yet to turn himself into police.

Police have confirmed to City Hub that an investigation has commenced in relation to a possible breach of District Court bail. At this stage, there is no warrant for his arrest.

If it is found that the assailant breached his bail conditions, police will not be able to arrest him if he shows up at his court date.

Sam Einfeld, 44, attacked Margot Priday in her Surry Hills home in April 2022. He repeatedly rammed his car into her garage door until it buckled, then made his way onto her property.

Priday, who knew the assailant since he was a baby and was a friend of his mother’s, tried to make a break for the front door.

“Oh no, you don’t,” he said, and pushed her roughly to the ground.

He kicked the elderly woman repeatedly while she was on the ground, trying to protect herself.

As soon as she hit the ground, Priday’s smart watch automatically dialled triple-0. The attack reportedly stopped as police sirens approached, and Einfeld fled from the garage.

Priday was left with cuts and bruises to her arms and legs, and two fractured fingers.

Einfeld was taken to Surry Hills Police Station, where it was noted that he was “affected by drugs”.

He remained in custody for eight months before he was granted bail by the District Court in December 2022 to seek treatment in a residential rehabilitation program at Odyssey House.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated breaking and entering to commit a serious indictable offence (the assault on Margot), as well as two separate counts of common assault against Margot’s daughter, Polly, and his own elderly mother.

“We felt a lot more comfortable when he was in jail” 

In April this year, Polly told ABC, “We felt a lot more comfortable when he was in jail.”

“Seven-and-a-half months in jail and just over a year in rehab seems a bit light for a person that broke into an elderly woman’s home and attacked her for no reason.”

In 2019, Einfeld came under the media spotlight after being accused of assaulting his father and causing actual bodily harm during an altercation in a Bondi Junction home.

He was elected as a Waverley Councillor in 1999 at age 18, becoming one of the country’s youngest local government representatives.

After he left council in 2004, Einfeld went on to practice law with Minter Ellison before taking on a variety of consultancy roles, according to his LinkedIn page.

Sam Einfeld is also the cousin of former federal court judge Marcus Einfeld, who went to jail for two years for lying about a $77 speeding ticket. Before he was convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice, Marcus Einfeld was the inaugural president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and a director of the World Jewish Congress in London before becoming one of Sydney’s most prominent barristers.

Marcus Einfeld’s father, Sydney David (Syd) Einfeld, was a local member of Parliament and a prominent Jewish community leader. He is credited with transforming Australia’s immigration policy to offer refuge to Holocaust survivors. Consequently, Australia accepted more refugees per capita than any other country and took in more Jewish refugees than any nation except Israel.

He was also President of The Executive Council of Australia Jewry three times between 1953 and 1962. The overpass to Bondi Beach past Westfields, formerly known as Bondi Junction Overpass, was opened by him in 1979 and renamed Syd Einfeld Pass.

Einfeld’s discharge on Wednesday and continuous bail variations 

On Wednesday, June 5, Einfeld was allegedly discharged from the rehabilitation centre after testing positive to multiple substances.

According to our source, whose identity City Hub has promised to protect, Einfeld allegedly had at least seven court appearances for bail variations, granting him more freedom.

In November 2023, Einfeld’s lawyer James Payton applied for a bail variation 19 days before the sentence date. The application was to remove a requirement, allowing his client to leave the rehabilitation centre, as approved by staff, without supervision.

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph, Payton told the court that “the vectors toward the commission of this offence” were no longer present and that his client had “proved himself worthy of trust.”

Judge Jane Culver acknowledged the “perfect storm” which led Einfeld to committing the offences – his poor mental health, long-term addiction, caring for his mother with dementia, and his father being in care.

But there was an “unacceptable risk” to the victim’s safety, she said, saying though 19 days was not a long time, it was potentially enough for another offence to occur.

Judge Culver rejected the application and Einfeld remained scheduled to be sentenced on November 27, 2023.

It’s unclear what has happened since then, and what bail variations he did succeed in securing. But clearly, the process has been dragged out. It’s now been two years and two months since Einfeld assaulted Priday in her home.

When explaining why they are coming forward to media, the source explained, “I’m doing this because I know that woman and her granddaughter are scared of him. And he’s not where police know him to be.”

“I’m sure their daily habits would change a lot if they knew that he was back in the suburbs driving around.”

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