A Barrack Heights pensioner accused of making a host of frivolous calls to triple zero during this week's heightened state of emergency across NSW has been granted conditional bail
Police claim Manuel Ahues Postilhao, 74, abused "valuable emergency services resources during an ongoing state of emergency" by repeatedly phoning police asking them to launch unsubstantiated investigations.
A set of police facts tendered to Wollongong Local Court on Sunday said Postilhao called triple zero just before 2pm on January 8 asking police to attend his house and for the federal police or the Commissioner of NSW Police to contact him about "conducting a full investigation of his neighbours".
Officers attended Postilhao's Shellharbour Road address that afternoon and spoke with him.
They will allege he was "rambling and smelt of alcohol" during the encounter.
Police advised Postilhao not to contact emergency services unless there was a genuine emergency and left the location.
However, it is alleged Postilhao phoned triple zero a further 14 times between 2.04pm and 8.52pm requesting an investigation.
On each occasion he was told not to call unless it was an emergency and warned on the 13th call he'd be arrested if his behaviour continued.
Officers attended the home after the 14th call - in which Postilhao allegedly asked for an investigation into the Warilla Sports Club - and arrested him.
He was charged with making vexatious calls to an emergency services number and released on police bail.
However, it is alleged Postilhao breached that parole just two days later by making a further series of "frivolous" calls to triple zero.
It is alleged he phoned triple zero 20 times between 10.12pm on January 10 and 2.44am on January 11.
Postilhao was arrested for a second time and refused police bail.
He was sent for a mental health assessment after a brief appearance in Wollongong Bail Court on Saturday, but found not to be mentally ill by doctors at Shellharbour Hospital and returned to police custody.
Police opposed Postilhao's bail application in court on Sunday, saying his actions in clogging up valuable emergency services resources potentially put other people who had genuine emergencies at risk.
"These aren't trivial offences," prosecuting sergeant Shannon Ryan said. "It's an abuse of emergency services resources....during an ongoing state of emergency."
Postilhao's lawyer said his client intended to enter pleas of not guilty to the charges.
Registrar Peter Ritchie found strict bail conditions could mitigate the risk Postilhao posed to the community if he was released.
"It's unlikely he will go to jail for these offences," he said.
As part of his bail, Postilhao is banned from contacting emergency services unless there is a genuine emergency and must abstain from consuming alcohol.
The case will return to court on February 26.