Police and firemen attacked, emergency vehicles damaged, house set alight: Charges too serious to dismiss

A Canowindra man who damaged a police vehicle, a NSW Fire and Rescue truck, a house and injured three police officers has been sentenced to five 12 month community correction orders, two 12 month intensive corrections orders and an 18 month intensive corrections order at Cowra Local Court.

Oliver Joseph Manican (48) of Robinson Street was before the court charged with common assault, two counts of damaging property, damaging property by fire, two counts of assaulting a police officer causing actual bodily harm, assaulting a police officer and threaten injury.

According to police facts around 8am on August 17, 2018, Manican visited his former family home. While there his victim asked for assistance with the repair of a washing machine.

Manican became agitated and began yelling abuse at the victim before leaving, saying the victim was being inconsiderate. He then traveled to a local service station and attempted to fill a 20 litre drum with fuel.

As the drum was unsuitable for fuel, the service station manager came out to speak to Manican. As the pair became involved in an argument, Manican took the drum and struck the manager with it before going to his vehicle and removing a blow torch.

Manican then walked towards the bowsers with the lit blow torch, causing the manager to retreat inside the station.

Manican then returned to a property next to the family home, where he set fire to the lounge room, started smashing windows and lit the recently filled drum.

As NSW Fire and Rescue arrived, Manican ran towards their truck, swinging a jemmy bar and wooden club, forcing the firefighters to stay in the vehicle.

As he swung the club at the truck, he struck the front windscreen causing it to shatter. He then went to the lit drum and kicked it towards the truck.

As police arrived, Manican ran at their vehicle and began hitting it causing the front window to shatter. One officer exited the vehicle and attempted to subdue him with Oleoresin Capsicum spray which failed.

Manican then went to the burning drum and threw it at the officer hitting him, causing burns to his face and right eye.

As a second officer exited the vehicle, he threw the jemmy bar at the officer striking him in the shin causing it to bruise.

Manican was then taken hold of by police and taken to the ground. Firefighters assisted police to arrest Manican as he continued to wrestle with police.

Eventually he was handcuffed and as he was being taken to a police vehicle, he kicked an officer, opening the door for him, in the groin.

Manican's solicitor Mr Cunningham had attempted to have him dealt with under a section 32 application however Magistrate Micheal O'Brien said while Manican was eligible to be dealt with under section 32, the serious nature of the offending warranted him being dealt with under the law.

Mr Cunningham also told the court that due to his client's mental health at the time of the offending Manican was unsuitable for a full time custodial sentence for the purposes of general deterrence.

Magistrate O'Brien agreed with this assessment saying Manican had come before the court with no prior criminal history, no history of anti-social behavior and by all accounts "a good and honest man".

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