It took six police officers, two tasers and pepper spray to restrain Tari Phillips, and despite threatening a number of people he says he's not a monster.
Judge Tony Greig agreed.
"You're not a monster at all, just a man who becomes occasionally unwell and that's my only concern – that you remain well."
But how to help achieve that when sentencing Phillips was the issue for Judge Greig, who had before him, in New Plymouth District Court, a homeless man subject to a treatment order under the Mental Health Act.
Prison wouldn't help him and there was nothing probation could do either, it was heard.
Phillips, of Taranaki, has a history of offending and has been transient for a number of years.
He is also mentally unwell and treating clinicians have to find him in the community to administer his monthly injection, which assists his mental health.
Judge Greig said it's a familiar problem.
"People who should probably be in hospital but there is simply not enough places for them," he said.
"The infrastructure to treat them can't cope with the problems that they present and that is not the fault of those who would like to treat them."
On Thursday, Phillips was before the court on six admitted charges.
In October, he obtained cigarettes and tobacco rolling papers by deception, threatened a police officer and breached his release condition.
He spent six weeks remanded in custody before a mental health assessment was ordered under the Mental Health Act.
A compulsory treatment order was then made and Phillips was transferred to the mental health ward at Taranaki Base Hospital for seven weeks as an inpatient.
On January 17, he was in a general ward, having been moved in preparation for his release back into the community.
Phillips wanted to go outside for a cigarette and became aggressive and threatening when he didn't get his way.
After threatening a mental health nurse, police were called.
"It is clear that it took quite a lot to restrain Mr Phillips. He was able to almost fight off six police officers, from what I read, and eventually required two tasers and pepper spray," Judge Greig said.
"I am aware that when people are acutely mentally unwell, normal restraints don't seem to work."
Addressing the judge, Phillips said he had learnt from his past mistakes.
"I give you my word that you'll have no more further problem with me. I'm not a monster and I get on pretty well in the community.
"The odd person might offend me but I see it as a chance to communicate better in response."
Lawyer Nathan Bourke, appearing as amicus, a person appointed by the court to assist in the case, said Phillips should not be jailed as that would remove the Mental Health Act order imposed on him.
Jail would aggravate the situation and worsen Phillips' mental health, Bourke said.
He instead argued for Phillips to be convicted and discharged, or to come up for sentence if called upon.
"And [then we] hold out hope that the Mental Health Act orders that are in place do the job that they're supposed to under the law."
Bourke further said he wouldn't oppose a supervision order, if the court thought having a probation officer oversee Phillips would help.
But Sarah Millynn, of Department of Corrections, said Phillips has not previously been interested in engaging with probation.
"It's very difficult, as you know, when we are, as a department, expected to rehabilitate people with such complex and complicated mental health needs."
Police prosecutor detective sergeant Heath Karlson said without a proper release plan police could not support releasing Phillips back into the community.
"It just seems that there are no checks or balances in place to assist Mr Phillips."
Karlson suggested remanding Phillips into custody by consent for a time, allowing Tui Ora, a kaupapa Māori health and social services provider, time to help find Phillips an address and establish a treatment plan.
"That gives everyone a bit of breathing space but to simply let Mr Phillips out where he is not managed, the police cannot support."
But Bourke said there was a plan, as the Mental Health Act order would remain in place while Phillips was in the community.
"Either the court proceeds on the basis that there are some competent doctors and he will be treated as the law requires or we're getting into a situation where the court is now essentially saying we do not trust the Mental Health Act, we do not trust the local mental health system."
If anything went wrong, then the treating clinicians would be answerable, Bourke said.
Judge Greig acknowledged prison would not achieve much for Phillips.
He also accepted there was little probation could do for him, and that "it was perhaps unfair to ask it of them", before sentencing Phillips to 12 months' supervision, which would require probation attempt to work alongside Phillips.
"But it at least allows some, I hope, form of early warning if Mr Phillips truly goes awry again," he said.
"I am taking from this that I have an assurance that the hospital will recall Mr Phillips as an inpatient if they feel it is necessary."