Michael de Guzman ws found not guilty by way of mental illness. Picture: Vincent de Gouw
Michael de Guzman ws found not guilty by way of mental illness. Picture: Vincent de Gouw

Ice addict hospital shooter found not guilty

A FORMER nurse and ice addict who took a doctor hostage at knifepoint and almost killed a hero cop could be out on the streets within days after a judge acquitted him on the grounds of mental illness.

Michael de Guzman, 42, was suffering from a psychotic condition, anxiety and depression but hadn't been taking his medication because it made him tired and fat, the District Court heard.

He had also been smoking ice regularly when in January 2016 he shot Sergeant Luke Warburton with the officer's own gun in the emergency department of Nepean Hospital.

 

Luke Warburton was attacked during the incident. Picture John Grainger
Luke Warburton was attacked during the incident. Picture John Grainger

 

The dog handler, best known for tracking down fugitive killer Malcolm Naden with his police dog Chuck, had freed emergency registrar Dr Ma Guinto who de Guzman threatened to kill as he pressed scissors into her neck.

De Guzman also shot a hospital security guard, Barry Jennings, while resisting arrest.

Judge Christopher Robison yesterday found him not guilty of 11 counts including shooting the sergeant with intent to kill after finding he was mentally ill.

The judge ordered he be detained in custody because "he could be a danger to the public" but his solicitor said he expects de Guzman to be released soon.

"I think he should be released fairly quickly," de Guzman's solicitor Eidan Havas said outside court.

The decision on when to released him will be made by the Mental Health Tribunal who will now take over the case.

Mr Havas said his client was of "sane" mind after taking his medication in the two years he has been in custody but said he could not guarantee that he would continue to take the medication or not used ice again.

 

The court saw CCTV footage of the incident.
The court saw CCTV footage of the incident.

 

"The only things certain are death and taxes," Mr Havas said.

Sergeant Warburton, who almost died from blood loss after the bullet severed his femoral artery, said he was "bitterly disappointed" at the verdict.

The Crown had argued that while de Guzman had mental problems, he had been responsible for smoking ice and was responsible for his actions.

"We are bitterly disappointed with the outcome today," Sergeant Warburton, who was supported by his wife Sandra and colleagues, said outside court.

 

Sergeant Warburton almost died from blood loss.
Sergeant Warburton almost died from blood loss.

 

He will suffer lifelong injuries and walks with a pronounced limp.

Judge Robison praised the bravery of the officer.

"Sergeant Warburton put his life on the line to protect others," the judge said.

"Without any concern for his own safety, he went in there and did what he had to do."

The court had heard that de Guzman was in the emergency department after being found walking along a street in Colyton waving a stolen walking stick in the air and shouting: "Help help me, my wife is trying to kill me, they are all coming to try and kill me."

The former Westmead Hospital nurse who had been using ice even while at work believed his wife had been kidnapped by the Russian mafia and was being used as a prostitute.

The judge said that while de Guzman had been delusional, his delusions were "genuine delusions".



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