Man could have been shot by police


A MAN charged with trying to murder a police officer was lucky not to have been shot, the Lismore Local Court heard yesterday.

Reading from police facts, Magistrate Nick Reimer said the only reason the police officer did not draw his gun and shoot Steven Craig Brislane, 36, of Kingscliff, was that the room was so small he feared hitting his partner.

Brislane fought back tears as he sat in the dock facing charges of attempted murder, using a weapon to prevent lawful detention and two counts of assaulting a police officer.

Brislane was arrested around 3.10am on Sunday after police were called to a Tweed Heads home over reports a man was threatening to hurt himself.

Mr Reimer, again referring to police facts, said Brislane allegedly made numerous and incessant death threats against the officers before he burst from behind a door with a knife.

Brislane's solicitor said her client had allegedly come out with the knife blade facing down and stopped when hit with a burst of capsicum spray.

Police prosecutor Brett Gradisnik said Brislane was: "Lucky more, or even lethal, force wasn't used."

The defence solicitor suggested the attempted murder charge was not justified by the police account of the incident.

"Whether the charge will be proceeded with will be seen later," she said.

The solicitor asked for bail, citing her client's good record and poor mental health.

"It's a very sad matter," she said.

"He isn't doing well. I ask you to consider his fragile mental status.

"There is nothing on his record suggesting violence to other persons. He is undergoing a great deal of distress."

She asked that Brislane be released to seek treatment and to properly prepare his defence.

Mr Gradisnik said he opposed bail because of the 'particularly alarming set of facts', and suggested Brislane should be treated at Richmond Clinic rather than be released.

Mr Reimer said Brislane was facing perhaps the second most serious charge that could go before the court.

He said the police facts of the incident were extreme and frightening and refused bail.

"The only reason the officer didn't resort to his firearm was the small confines of the room could have resulted in a cross-fire danger," said Magistrate Nick Reimer, reading from the police facts.

He ordered that Brislane undergo a full psychiatric assessment and adjourned the case to June 7.

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