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ACT police cleared of wrong doing over fatal Doherty shooting

By claire1013 - 26 June 2012 6

The ABC have a report on the February 2011 fatal shooting of a 27 year old Canberran man.

Nathan Doherty died after being shot in the chest during an encounter with police. He had allegedly threatened his ex-partner whilst under the influence of alcohol. Doherty “lunged” at police wielding a knife and a meat cleaver at which point the officer fired. He had been recognised as suffering from mental illness. Doherty had previously been involved in a similar situation in 2007 where he had been shot in the leg and had also attempted suicide.

The case was looked into earlier in the month and the verdict was decided yesterday. ACT Chief Coroner Lorraine Walker cleared the officer of any offence stating that he was acting in self-defence. Coroner Walker has since voiced the concern that there is a lack of communication between ACT police and mental health services, which should be remedied to avoid similar situations.

He [Counsel assisting the Coroner Shane Gill] told the court Sergeant Matthew Gale who fired the fatal shot had believed if he had known Mr Doherty had been shot by police before and had recently attempted suicide, he may have formed a different strategy.

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6 Responses to
ACT police cleared of wrong doing over fatal Doherty shooting
Affirmative Action M 11:48 am 23 Jul 12

Sounds like a reasonable outcome in a tragic case however lets face it – Has there ever been a case where the police were NOT cleared – I can’t think of it ever happening.

ddes 11:30 am 23 Jul 12

“ex partner” they used that term very loosely!

HenryBG 4:28 pm 28 Jun 12

unclebill said :

CT reported that the officer acted with experience & compassion, it’s kind of like the Neil Young line “kinder, gentler machine gun hand”.

The do-gooders were right all along: what the Massey family really needs is far more compassion from the police.

The_TaxMan 2:19 pm 28 Jun 12

If someone lunged at me with a knife or clever I would not hesitate to pop one right in the middle of the body mass. So good onya copper and good onya Lorraine Walker bout time the courts got it right. Mental illness is a real issue but in the heat of the moment a nutter is a nutter and if they must be stopped then whatever it takes sunshine whatever it takes.

Mysteryman 1:12 pm 27 Jun 12

Good. Glad to hear it.

unclebill 12:17 pm 27 Jun 12

CT reported that the officer acted with experience & compassion, it’s kind of like the Neil Young line “kinder, gentler machine gun hand”.

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