A scuffle broke out at the Hamilton District Court today after sentencing of a caregiver who assaulted an elderly man at a retirement home was put off until next year.
Sonali Ananta Deo, 23, was meant to be sentenced today for an assault on 86-year-old Piri Hemi but the case was adjourned for three months after her lawyer Richard Barnsdale filed late submissions seeking a discharge without conviction.
The delay upset Hemi's son Allan, and his wife Priscilla, who were in court for the appearance and hoping to have closure before Christmas.
Allan Hemi tried to get a picture of Deo as she left the court with a supporter and her lawyer.
As Hemi got close to Deo, Barnsdale told him to "get out".
Hemi replied "Don't touch me, mate," as he continued to follow the group.
Security raced over to try to calm the situation down, but the argument continued on the footpath outside.
A member of the public also intervened before the tensions diffused a short time later.
Hamilton police had not received any complaints about an incident at the court, a spokeswoman said.
Barnsdale has been approached for comment.
After the incident, Hemi said it had been a tough time for the family to try to digest what had happened to his father and dealing with the fact Deo may get off a conviction with her discharge application.
"I'm very upset because there's no closure. I've been wanting to get this over and done with for months and months now. We wanted to get it finished before Christmas so we could have a big Christmas with Dad but it's still up in the air.
"She's pleaded guilty, how could they even let it go on this long. Just give her a conviction ... It's just not fair mate, you know."
Hemi said he might have over-reacted but he couldn't help it.
"People might look at that [footage of the incident] and say 'oh they're getting a bit carried away' but if it was your dad or your mum, you'd be doing exactly the same."
It had also been a tough time for the family, having had to leave their home due to unforeseen circumstances and only had seven more days to find somewhere to live.
Piri Hemi had to be put in respite care due to the circumstances, he said.
The assault on Hemi occurred in Hamilton's Cascades Retirement Home between June 9 and June 11, this year.
Judge Connell was unimpressed with the delay but said he had to grant police time to assess the defence application and write submissions in response.
Deo was remanded on further on bail to reappear in March.