Tele/ Central Coast Express Advocate: Daniel Josip Kovac, who broke cop’s nose at San Remo, drank 50 standard drinks a day

A man who elbowed a police officer in the face when he was being arrested, breaking the officer’s nose, was drinking up to 50 standard drinks a day.

Daniel Josip Kovac, of San Remo, faced Wyong Local Court via video link on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to contravening an apprehended violence order (AVO), assaulting a police officer causing actual bodily harm, resisting arrest and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Two charges of intimidation and common assault were withdrawn and dismissed.

An agreed set of police facts states Kovac was an NBN technician for Telstra and in a “position of responsibility” before his arrest.

The facts state he was — and still is — in a relationship with a woman and they lived together at San Remo but she had an AVO against him on the standard conditions that he not assault, molest, harass, threaten or otherwise interfere with her.

“At about 11.55pm on October 1, 2020, the victim returned home from work. The offender had been drinking heavily throughout the day,” the facts state.

She went to go to bed when he came knocking on the bedroom door wanting to speak to her but was told to “go away”.

Kovac then started banging on the door loudly, causing damage to it, before “the offender called the police requesting them to attend the premises”.

Police arrived and “observed the offender to be well intoxicated by alcohol”.

They told him he was under arrest for breaching the AVO but it was “clear the offender was not listening to police, so police took hold of the offender’s arm and commenced a lawful physical arrest”.

The facts state he started thrashing his arms around and was told several times to stop resisting.

“At this time [a] Senior Constable’s hold on the offender’s left arm slipped, and the offender’s elbow has launched backwards striking [the] Senior Constable in the nose,” the facts state.

The officer was later taken to hospital where scans revealed a fractured nasal bone.

“The prosecution accepts that the assault was reckless in nature and the offender accepts that it would not have occurred had he simply co-operated with the lawful directions of police and not struggled,” the agreed facts state.

He then “ripped” the officer’s police radio from him.

“Police managed to force the accused to the ground after approximately 3 to 5 minutes of wrestling before the accused said `I’ve got your radio’ and was heard laughing,” the facts state.

He managed to break free and get to his feet at one point until police could handcuff him.

Police later returned to the house on Perouse Ave and found a gel blaster pistol, which requires a licence.

Kovac read a letter out to the court expressing his remorse.

“I would like to say sorry to the officers involved in the incident on the night,” he said.

“I firmly believe I’m a changed man. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about that incident.”

Kovac said his partner and children had been missing him during his time in custody and that he had been doing courses including a Certificate 3 in cleaning and a first aid certificate.

“What I did was unforgivable,” he said.

His solicitor, leading criminal lawyer Samar Singh-Panwar, told the court Kovac was an alcoholic who drank up to “50 standard drinks a day” and that his time in custody “allowed him to detoxify”.

He told the court the 42-year-old had lost his job but he was still in a relationship with the victim.

Magistrate Caleb Franklin sentenced Kovac to 12 months jail with a non-parole period of six months.With time already served since his arrest on October 2 he will be eligible for release next Thursday on April 1.

He was also put on a community corrections order for a year, which expires on March 23, 2022.

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