Standoff accused in court today

A 35-year-old man was charged with breaching an apprehended violence order after the six-hour standoff.
A 35-year-old man was charged with breaching an apprehended violence order after the six-hour standoff.

A MAN involved in a six-hour standoff with police at an Oxley Vale home yesterday is expected to front court today.

In a dramatic end to hours of intense negotiations, the 35-year-old man was arrested when specialist police officers smashed a window of the Ernest St home after they smelt smoke coming from the building.

Police later said the smoke appeared to have come from a booklet the man allegedly set alight.

The climax came after what appeared to be a routine call to a domestic dispute in which police said a woman had been locked out of the home.

When police arrived they found the man had barricaded himself inside the home and was in possession of a kitchen knife.

The officers tried to speak with the man through a front window, but they allege he refused to engage. Instead, they said, he sat on a lounge chair with the knife on a coffee table in front of him.

It is then officers allege the man began to place furniture behind doors at the house, and police had managed to unlock the door but could not get inside.

Tamworth duty officers were called to the scene along with detectives with negotiation skills.

The police station’s State Protection Support Unit (SPSU) – the equivalent of Sydney’s tactical response unit -  was sent to the scene and, Fairfax understands, officers from outlying stations in the region also were called  upon.

Paramedics and firefighters were put on standby and the street was blocked off to the public.

Police said negotiators worked for hours to speak with the man who was “wasn’t responsive”.

He allegedly passed out a note to officers, stating that he would not come out of the house and police would have to kill him.

A number of hours passed and the situation escalated when police smelt smoke from the building.

It was then with approval from police force executives, they broke into the home.

The man was arrested without incident and taken to Tamworth Hospital for a mental health assessment.

He was later released and taken to Tamworth Police Station where he was charged with breaching an apprehended violence order.

“The deployment of the SPSU, who are obviously highly trained officers, led to the successful outcome,” Inspector Paul Johnson said.

The SPSU officers are police with specialist skills who can be called from duty at any time to assist with critical and dangerous situations requiring a tactical response.

SPSU officers were also used in the hunt for former fugitive and accused murderer Malcolm Naden in bushland in Nowendoc and Gloucester earlier this year.


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