Saturday August 24 2013
– The man accused of stabbing a high-ranking policeman near Geelong has a history of psychosis and should be psychiatrically assessed as soon as possible, a court has heard.
Damien Power appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday charged with three offences.
It is alleged he stabbed Senior Sergeant David Reither a number of times in the back.
According to police, Senior Sergeant Reither saw a man and woman arguing in a car on Midland Highway at Batesford and intervened about 9pm on Wednesday.
It is alleged Mr Power, 23, stabbed the senior sergeant before fleeing into paddocks where he was arrested about four hours later.
Senior Sergeant Reither was flown to The Alfred Hospital in a serious condition.
His condition was reported as stable.
Senior Sergeant Reither was in his first week of work at the Ballarat police station after transferring from Geelong. He’d spent many years as a detective in Geelong’s Criminal Investigation Unit.
Mr Power, of Grovedale, is charged with causing serious injury.
Magistrate Kay Robertson was told he was deemed unfit to be interviewed after his arrest and was transported to Melbourne.
The case would return to Geelong Magistrates Court for Mr Power’s next appearance, the court was told.
Legal Aid solicitor Sarah Westwood told the court that Mr Power had several custody management issues including a history of recent psychosis.
It was his first time in custody and he posed a significant risk of self-harm, she said. Mr Power made no application for bail – Paul Anderson