When Senior Constable Daniel Poole drove up to the non-descript Unanderra home on the afternoon of June 21 last year, he did so with almost 30 years of experience under his belt.
But nothing could have prepared him for what lay ahead.
Responding to reports of a car doing burnouts earlier in the day, Snr Cst Poole, who was working solo, hopped out of the sleek highway patrol sedan and approached the front door of the home.
A woman answered the door and Snr Cst Poole began quizzing her about a Holden Commodore parked on the nature strip. After a brief chat, he informed the woman he would be seizing the number plates as the vehicle had been unregistered for 12 months.
Enter Jason Cormack.
“You’re not taking my f—king car,” Cormack said as he strode out of the house, pushing past his girlfriend and Snr Cst Poole.
“I’m not taking your car [but] I will be taking your plates,” Snr Cst Poole responded.
The two men walked towards the vehicle, with Cormack apparently still abusing Snr Cst Poole.
The details of what happened next are still disputed between prosecutors and Cormack’s legal team, but one thing is certain: Snr Cst Poole was bashed to the point he was unable to stand.
Prosecutors claim Cormack twice spat in the officer’s face during the initial confrontation next to the car, prompting Snr Cst Poole to use capsicum spray on Cormack and call for back up.
Cormack was washing the spray away using a tap in the front yard when Snr Cst Poole told him he was under arrest.
Both men threw a single punch (Cormack first apparently) before Snr Cst Poole stepped back and lost his footing, falling to the ground.
It is alleged Cormack then laid into the officer while he was on the ground, punching and kicking him around the face and upper body.
Cormack allegedly stopped momentarily at the request of his partner. Snr Cst Poole repeatedly tried to get to his feet but couldn’t.
It is alleged Cormack then drove his knee into Snr Cst Poole’s face before grabbing his head and attempting to smash it against a wooden sleeper post.
Fellow officers arrived a short time later to discover a severely injured Snr Cst Poole lying on the front lawn and Cormack inside, washing away the capsicum spray.
Cormack, who was in custody for five months until being granted bail by the Supreme Court bail in December, pleaded guilty to a single charge of wounding a person with intent in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday. He will face sentencing next month.
Snr Cst Poole has been medically discharged from the police force.