A Wollongong magistrate has praised the efforts of two Nowra policemen whose sound judgement led to the safe arrest of a knife-wielding pensioner at a South Coast caravan park.
Willy Dekker, 75, was in the midst of a psychotic episode when he became involved in an early morning stand-off with officers Steve Roddam and Chris Power at Nowra's Gateway Caravan Park in March 2018.
Court documents said the two senior constables were responding to reports of a disturbance at the park when they came across Dekker wielding a large metal pole and a pair of scissors while yelling inside his caravan.
They tried to negotiate with him to put the weapons down but said he was "extremely aggressive", yelling and screaming at police and neighbours and trying to hit anyone that came close to him.
At one point during the stand-off, Dekker lashed out at one of the officers with the pole, narrowly missing him. Dekker copped capsicum spray to the face as a result, however that did not stop the attack.
The court heard Dekker then began throwing objects at police through the caravan window, prompting another burst of capsicum spray.
In such circumstances they faced, the decisions by the officers about what they must do to protect themselves and disarm Mr Dekker are very difficult decision made in a very short time period.
Moments later, Dekker dropped the pole and instead armed himself with three knives - one in each hand and the third set between his teeth.
When Snr Cst Roddam appeared near the doorway, Dekker threw one of the knives in his direction, narrowly avoiding hitting him.
Meanwhile, Snr Cst Power took the opportunity to taser Dekker threw the window. It took four rounds to disarm him, police said.
Paramedics sedated Dekker and he was admitted to Shoalhaven Hospital, where he remained for seven months as an involuntary patient in the mental health ward.
He was released from hospital in October to live with his daughter in Kanahooka.
Dekker pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting police in Wollongong Local Court on Friday.
Magistrate Les Mabbutt said Dekker was fortunate Senior Constables Roddam and Power had acted the way they did that night, ensuring no one was hurt.
"In such circumstances they faced, the decisions by the officers about what they must do to protect themselves and disarm Mr Dekker are very difficult decision made in a very short time period," he said.
"I consider both the officers should be commended for their actions."
Dekker's lawyer, Greg Murphy, told the court his client was now on medication, had not had any other psychotic episodes since that attack and was considered a "low risk".
Magistrate Mabbutt placed Dekker on a two-year community corrections order with supervision.