Magistrate takes notes of police practices
POLICE practices in the Richmond Local Area Command have been called into question by the State Coroners Court during an inquest into the death of a Ballina man in 2015.
The man, who cannot be identified due to a non-publication order, is believed to have died after falling from a window.
The two-day inquest into his death and the police response to the incident concluded at Ballina Court yesterday.
Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Helen Barry said she was concerned that notes taken by a police officer at the time of the incident had not been retained.
Ms Barry said the missing notes meant the police version of events did not align with that of the member of the public who reported the incident to police.
"This note may have been helpful and well supported the police officer's case,” she said.
"It puts the coroner in the position of questioning the veracity of the police officer's case. Now I have to decide whether or not I accept the police officer's case or not.”
Ms Barry also said she was concerned as this was the second time note taking by police in the Richmond LAC had been questioned at an inquest.
"I mention it now, but I won't be taking it any further,” she said.
Mas Barry said the findings from the inquest will be released in the coming weeks.
"A decision will be made but I can not say exactly when,” she said.
Ms Barry thanked the man's family who attended the inquest for their quiet and dignified presence, saying it showed "he (the deceased) was much loved”.
"My sincere condolences for the loss of your brother,” she said.
AN INQUEST into the death of a Ballina man will continue today in the NSW State Coroners Court, sitting in Ballina.
The inquest, before Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Helen Barry, is looking into the manner of the man's death, and the police response.
It is believed the man died after falling from a window in Tamar Street, Ballina, in 2015.