Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Shane Christopher FLANDERS

Inquest into the Death of Shane Christopher FLANDERS

Delivered on :12 July 2018

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner King

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was a 29 year old man with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness. He was last known to be alive at about 1.15 pm on 28 January 2016.

On 20 December 2011 the deceased presented at Royal Perth Hospital after taking an overdose because of his headaches. He told staff that he had wanted to die.  In February 2013 he suffered a psychotic episode during which killed one of the family dogs.  Police attended and eventually shot him in the leg.  He spent months recovering in hospital.  On 17 October 2015 the deceased presented at Royal Perth Hospital after attempting to perform a vasectomy on himself.  He was diagnosed with anti-social and possible schizotypal/schizoid personality features or a possible psychotic illness.  There were no grounds to detain him involuntarily.

On 27 January 2016 the deceased went to the Perth International Airport where he verbally abused two Australian Federal Police officers. They arrested him, but he struggled and hit his head on the floor.  The officers took him to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment.  After refusing treatment, he was sedated.  A police officer searched his belongings and found documents relating to suicide.  The psychiatric liaison nurse found no acute psychiatric illness requiring hospital admission.

On 28 January 2016 the deceased attended Court and was released on bail. He went to the Perth International Airport and got his car, which he then bogged after trying to drive through a ditch to get onto Tonkin Highway.  A tow truck driver attended and recovered the car from the ditch.  The deceased paid the tow truck driver and then drove away.  This is the last known sighting of the deceased.  That afternoon, his car was seen parked on a reserve on the west side of West Coast Highway in City Beach about 200 metres from the Indian Ocean near a path to the ocean.  It remained there for a week and was then towed to a holding area.

On 16 February 2016 police were notified that the deceased was missing and an investigation commenced. Items found in his car indicated his plan to end his life by drowning.  The Coroner found that the death of the deceased has been established beyond all reasonable doubt.  The Coroner noted that drowning was the likely cause of death, but that the deceased could have been taken by a marine predator, so was unable to find a cause of death.  He made an open finding as to how death occurred.

Catch Words: Missing Person : Mental Health : Open Finding

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

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