Police investigating reports of a violent attack in a home north of Wollongong last October copped more than they bargained for after stumbling across an active methamphetamine lab inside the house.
Neighbours of Bellambi resident Jason Lewis called police after the 40-year-old was allegedly assaulted by three people inside his NSW Department of Housing townhouse on October 21.
Lewis was left with a deep gash on his left forearm, allegedly inflicted as he tried to deflect the blow of a claw hammer swung in his direction.
Lewis fled the property and ran to a nearby house.
However when police arrived a short time later, Lewis told the neighbour not to allow them inside his home.
Police documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court yesterday say officers entered the home to "secure the location" after seeing a rear window had been smashed.
Inside, officers uncovered the amphetamine lab, drug paraphernalia and instructions on how to cook meth.
The home was immediately cordoned off and specialist officers brought in to examine the scene, which remained under police guard overnight.
Officers seized several items from the home including iodine, a known precursor for amphetamine production, glassware associated with drug manufacturing and an instruction guide on cooking meth.
Lewis, who had been taken to hospital after the assault, returned to his home just after midnight but was denied access.
He was arrested later that day and charged with four drug manufacturing offences.
He later admitted to the haul when interviewed by police.
Lewis was released on bail, but failed to front court when required, prompting the magistrate to convict him and issue a warrant. He was arrested on Monday.
Seeking court bail yesterday, Lewis said he'd failed to turn up last time after suffering a debilitating panic attack that morning.
"He suffers from chronic anxiety," his lawyer, Jane Healey said.
However, the magistrate, Mark Douglass, refused to release Lewis, noting he had a history of serious offending, and had breached his bail and not turned up to court multiple times in the past.