Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Luke Ross BEVEN

Inquest into the Death of Luke Ross BEVEN

Delivered on :5 June 2015

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : State Coroner, R V C Fogliani

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

That there be no reporting or publication of the details of WA Police Emergency Driving Policy

Summary : The deceased was a 18 year old when he died on 13 January 2012 after the vehicle he was travelling in as a passenger collided with several trees on the verge of Fremantle Road in Gosnells.  Prior to the collision, the vehicle was being pursued by the police who were in an unmarked police vehicle, with lights and sirens. Both vehicles were being driven at high speeds.

The driver of the vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger, was convicted on his plea of guilty and sentenced for the manslaughter of the deceased.

The State Coroner concluded that on the night the deceased and the driver of the vehicle were both affected by methylamphetamine. The State Coroner concluded that the amount of methylamphetamine used by the driver meant that he would have been incapable of driving safely under normal conditions.

The issues which were explored at the inquest hearing were whether the deceased’s death was caused or contributed to by any action on the part of the police.

The State Coroner was satisfied that the police officers involved in the pursuit did not cause or contribute to the deceased’s death for a range of reasons, include that the vehicle intercept was initiated for a proper policing purpose, the pursuit was initiated in accordance with the relevant Guidelines and was awaiting authorisation, the breach by the police pursuit driver of the maximum permissible speed cap was momentary and by a relatively small margin. At the time the breach occurred the police vehicle and the vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger in, were a reasonable distance apart. The entire pursuit lasted less than a minute.

The State Coroner found the deceased died as a result of multiple injuries and death arose by way of unlawful homicide.

Catch Words : Police Pursuit : Multiple Injuries : Unlawful Homicide.

Last updated: 11-Jun-2015

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