Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Brendan John LINDSAY

Inquest into the Death of Brendan John LINDSAY

Delivered on :7 November 2019

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : State Coroner Fogliani

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased at the time of his death was a 38 year old male who died in Carlisle on 8 November 2014 as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The deceased had been shot by police officers who had responded for urgent back-up after the report of a hostage situation, relaying that the deceased was holding a female with a knife to the throat in the street.

The focus of the inquest was the actions of the police from the time assistance was first sought, up to and including the shooting and its immediate aftermath. This included an assessment of whether those actions were taken in the course of carrying out a legitimate law enforcement activity.

In the days and hours leading up to the deceased’s death he had become increasingly agitated and erratic. Unfortunately, the deceased had used illicit drugs, intermittently, since his teens. His partner did not approve of this behaviour. Shortly before his death the deceased’s partner had formed the view that he had been using illicit drugs, and she asked him to leave the house. The deceased stayed with his friends and family.

On the morning of his death, the deceased was with his father, who had collected him from his partner’s house after another confrontation. The deceased was still aggressive and volatile, and his father also suspected the deceased had taken drugs. At one point while he and his father were outside the Lunch Club in Carlisle, his father motioned a passing police vehicle, for assistance. The constable responded and the sequence of events that led to the deceased taking the Lunch Club employee hostage, threatening her with a knife, and that resulted in the deceased being shot are addressed in the finding.

The State Coroner took account of the serious and imminent threat to the life and/or safety of the hostage, the extended period of time during which the deceased held the knife aggressively and perilously close to her person, his stated intentions together with all of his actions towards the hostage, and was satisfied that within that volatile and dangerous period there were minimal opportunities for police to de-escalate the situation. The State Coroner found that police were in the course of carrying out a legitimate law enforcement activity and that the use of force was not excessive.

The State Coroner noted that body worn cameras by law enforcement personnel is becoming increasingly prevalent, providing policing agencies with an independent and objective resource to capture incidents, gather real time evidence and record interactions between police and members of the community. The State Coroner also noted that the Western Australia Police Force is in the process of the roll out of body worn cameras for all front line officers across the State.

Catch Words : Police shooting : Use of force; : Homicide by way of self-defence: Body Worn Cameras for Police :

Last updated: 20-Nov-2019

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