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Qld patient tackle justified: lawyer

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July 11, 2017

Brisbane hospital guard Shane Kilgariff faces a manslaughter charge after tackling a violent patient

A Queensland hospital security guard who restrained a violent 81-year-old patient should not stand trial over his death, his lawyer argues.

Shane Kilgariff tackled Theodorus van der Veen after the elderly man tried to stab a nurse in the face with a pen and targeted other staff with a fire hose at Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital in April 2016.

Kilgariff was charged with manslaughter after Mr van der Veen died two weeks later from severe blunt force to the back of his head.

Barrister Peter Davis QC told the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday that Kilgariff should not be committed to stand trial because his actions were justified in the circumstances.

"You've got a man who's going absolutely berserk in the ward, you've got split second decisions being made by a security guard, you've got no evidence of malice," Mr Davis told the committal hearing.

"If the grabbing is lawful, no jury properly directed could possibly find that the force was unreasonable."

The court previously heard Mr van der Veen was admitted for a suspected bowel obstruction when he suddenly became agitated.

A doctor who tried to calm him down had his arm twisted behind his back and was frog-marched through the ward.

Mr van der Veen also attacked young female nurse, tried to stab a male nurse in the face with a pen and swung his IV pole around like a weapon.

He then backed himself into a dead-end and used a fire hose to target staff trying to get near him.

The prosecution argued Kilgariff used unreasonable force when he "tackled" Mr van der Veen but Mr Davis said an eyewitness described the force of the tackle as only a five on a scale of one to 10.

Mr van der Veen also had to be restrained on the floor even after he was knocked down because he continued to struggle.

Magistrate Suzette Coates reserved her decision for a later date.

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