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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WA police officers questioned over pursuit of Aboriginal woman Ms Wynne at inquest

The sergeant’s removing of the order on 30 March 2019 meant that data associated to Ms Wynne’s escape from a psychological well being facility at Joondalup Health Campus solely days earlier was not instantly seen to officers on patrol.

L-R: Ms Wynne’s mother Shirley Wynne, cousin Tsheena Cooper and uncle Derrick Cooper.

Source: Supplied

Detective Sergeant Barnes mentioned he did know at the time that Ms Wynne had escaped and that she was thought of a critical danger to herself and others.

He mentioned his actions nonetheless required police to carry out a welfare test and instructed the court docket that he believed any officer would have come to the conclusion that Ms Wynne required pressing medical intervention. 

“I thought any officer that came across her would do their due diligence,” Detective Sergeant Barnes mentioned.

WA Police tried to search out Ms Wynne a number of occasions to conduct the welfare test over the next days, however couldn’t find her at any of her normal addresses.


It wasn’t till 4 April 2019 that WA police officers got here into contact with Ms Wynne. 

First Class Constable Daniel Ellis and Constable Fitzpatrick (whose first title was not offered by the court docket) had been patrolling the suburb of East Victoria Park at 5:48am once they noticed an individual strolling alongside Hubert Street sporting a dark-hooded jumper and dark-coloured shorts.

Constable Ellis instructed the inquest on Tuesday that officers determined to cease the person as a result of they suspected they might have dedicated against the law. 

“(It) is a high crime area. We pulled our vehicle to the side of the road. I saw the person’s head move and they immediately ran,” Constable Ellis mentioned. 

The officers made a name over police radio for different items to look out for the person in a dark-hooded jumper, earlier than giving chase on foot.

Constable Ellis denied officers pursued the person as a result of of their pores and skin color. 

He additionally mentioned officers had been justified in looking for to cease and query the individual, as he believed against the law had been or was about to be dedicated.

“She ran away. That increased my suspicion that she was involved in a crime,” he mentioned.

Police enter 

At 6:05am, a separate police unit from Cannington police station attended a close-by home to seek for an individual wished for questioning.

The residence was the condo of Ms Wynne’s mom, Shirley Wynne. When police entered, they discovered Ms Wynne, who matched the outline of the hooded particular person offered by Constable Ellis. 

When Constable Ellis and Constable Fitzpatrick arrived at the home, there have been already a number of plain-clothed and uniformed police officers at the residence, together with detectives inside questioning Ms Wynne, her mom and one other man asleep in a bed room. 

“As I entered, I observed approximately four to five police inside (and saw the) person who fled earlier. At that point I realised she was a female,” Constable Ellis instructed the inquest.

Detective Sergeant James Stanbury was among the many first officers to enter the residence, and mentioned police had the appropriate to go in as a result of they suspected an individual who had dedicated against the law was inside. 

Detective Stanbury instructed the inquest that police realised instantly the individual wished for questioning was not at the condo, however they remained there to query the others inside.

Both Ms Wynne and her mom turned distressed, and yelled at police officers to depart.


Multiple police officers gave proof on Tuesday that Ms Wynne refused to supply her title, and that she appeared distressed, erratic, and was pacing and flailing her legs and arms, which officers attributed to the consequences of drug use.

“There could have been some sort of substance abuse mixed with running from police and not wanting us to be there,” Constable Ellis mentioned.

“We deal with a lot of people that are under the influence of certain substances, so you get a gauge of what people are like.”

Another police officer, Detective Sergeant Layla Boyd, determined to position Ms Wynne in handcuffs.

“It was quite clear to me that she was drug affected … she certainly wasn’t listening to any [instruction] at that point,” Detective Sergeant Boyd instructed the inquest.

“Not only for their safety but for her safety as well, I have made the decision to place her in handcuffs”. 

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Image for read more article 'Final days of Aboriginal woman Ms Wynne before police restraint heard at inquest '

Constable Ellis and Detective Sergeant Boyd every gave proof that Ms Wynne was handcuffed to stop her inflicting damage to herself or police officers.

However, the lawyer representing Ms Wynne’s household, Claire O’Connor SC, questioned why handcuffs had been vital, with 9 police officers current at the residence.

Another officer who gave proof on Tuesday, First Class Constable Luke Yakacikli, mentioned that Ms Wynne was “crying, upset and yelling for her mum to help her” whereas {the handcuffs} had been utilized.

After being handcuffed, Ms Wynne was led exterior, the place officers questioned her for roughly ten minutes.

“We asked her to take a seat, which she did. She sat with her back up against the wall. I asked why she ran from police, she replied that she was nervous,” Constable Ellis mentioned.

Police mentioned Ms Wynne’s behaviour usually calmed, however she remained handcuffed whereas the questioning continued. At one level, Sergeant Boyd eliminated {the handcuffs} and left the residence, however Constable Ellis instantly changed {the handcuffs} along with his personal.

During the questioning of Ms Wynne by police, Constable Yakacikli went downstairs to a police car to run a background test. 

Constable Yakacikli instructed the court docket that he noticed a transport order requesting Ms Wynne be conveyed to hospital, nevertheless it was expired.

The solely actionable data he noticed, Constable Yakacikli mentioned, was the requirement for police to carry out a welfare test.

He mentioned he relayed that data to Constable Fitzpatrick, however didn’t return upstairs to see Ms Wynne himself.

When requested whether or not he believed the welfare test had been carried out, Constable Yakacikli mentioned he believed Constable Fitzpatrick would have accomplished it.

The Coroner has requested legal professionals representing WA Police to supply written proof that the welfare test was carried out and what observations police officers made. 

All of the officers that gave proof on Tuesday mentioned they believed Ms Wynne didn’t require additional medical consideration. After finishing the background test and eradicating {the handcuffs}, police left the premises.

Ms Wynne then suffered a extreme psychological well being episode, and later that morning, misplaced consciousness whereas being restrained by police a second time. She died in hospital 5 days later.

The inquest continues.

Readers looking for help can contact Lifeline disaster help on 13 11 14, go to lifeline.org.au or discover an Aboriginal Medical Service right here. Resources for younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders could be discovered at Headspace: Yarn Safe.

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