A mentally ill man has lost his battle against police who, he said, overreacted when they tazered him outside his Weston home last year.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, broke down and cried as he watched Tazer Cam vision of himself being electrified at a hearing in Maitland Local Court on Friday.
His solicitor said police acted against their own protocol placing expediency over dignity when they attempted to get him into the back of their van as quickly as possible on August 31.
The court heard police had gone to the man’s house after an insurance call centre employee alerted them that a person at the address had threatened suicide earlier in the day.
The man came out of the house and agreed to go with police to see a doctor.
During a search on the front lawn, police said the man threw his jacket and then swung the front gate at them on the way to the police car.
He denied non-compliance, claiming he followed instructions and walked to the police car where he handed over his laced shoes when asked to remove them.
It was alleged he told them: “I want my f——— slip-ons.”
When the man’s wife went into the house to retrieve other shoes, police told him to remove his belt.
The man told the court he did so and threw the belt into his front yard when one of the officers said: “He is going to hit me with it.”
One of the officers tried using capsicum spray against the man but he allegedly pushed the spray out of her hand and grabbed the second officer when she tried to use her spray.
The prosecution said police had used most options available to them, aside from firearms, before they tazered the man.
The defence said the Tazer Cam clearly showed the man was not resisting and had both arms in the air – claiming police wanted to get him into the van immediately.
The man was ordered to pay $900 compensation to police for damage he caused to the inside of their vehicle on the way to the hospital. He was placed on three 18-month good behaviour bonds for resisting and assaulting police.