Inquiry hears of altercation

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 12 Februari 2013 | 19.55

WITNESSES have told a coronial inquest how Westbury man Nicholas Whiteley had been chased around his home by a police officer before he was shot in November 2010.

The Launceston inquest before Coroner Robert Pearce heard that Longford Constable Ian Blake had been at the residence to supervise the removal of property belonging to Mr Whiteley's former partner Sheena Button.

Ms Button's mother Karen Button, who had arrived at the property with her daughter, told the inquest that the situation escalated after Constable Blake attempted to open a front gate.

Mr Whiteley forcefully pushed back the gate.

Mrs Button said Mr Whiteley also threw a punch.

Mrs Button said Constable Blake had responded with capsicum spray and had told Mr Whiteley "kneel down, you are under arrest".

Mr Whiteley had been walking away from Constable Blake up a driveway when Constable Blake hit him three times with a baton.

She said Constable Blake had followed Mr Whiteley around the house about three times, and that Mr Whiteley had appeared increasingly angry.

Mrs Button said the final confrontation, which took place inside the home, involved extremely loud banging and yelling for about three minutes followed by a gun shot.

She said Constable Blake had later staggered out, his head covered with blood, and had collapsed over a gate.

The inquest also heard from a GP that Mr Whiteley had shown symptoms consistent with depression and anxiety shortly before the incident.

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