The wife of a Queensland police officer killed in the line of duty has been asked to leave a court room by her husband’s colleagues.
Senior Constable Brett Forte, 42, died on May 29, 2017 after his vehicle was peppered with 27 bullets from an automatic weapon in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane.
The next day Ricky Maddison, 40, was shot dead by police as they tried to apprehend him for the murder.https://98f37b95cb0090310bbefe2797d154bb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
But in a surprising twist, during a coronial inquest into Forte’s death on Tuesday, his wife Susan was asked to leave.
Lawyers representing certain Queensland Police officers tried to remove her from the court, citing withholding evidence as the reason.
Susan had sat through the gruelling footage of her husband’s final moments and was only in the second day of the coronial inquest when lawyers tried to kick her out.
She was blindsided as two applications were submitted to have her excluded from the remainder of the proceedings.
“A family member is not treated any differently to other witness,” Queensland Police lawyers told the court.
“There is clearly evidence that is in possession of Mrs Forte … that is not before your honour.”
Police claimed she knew more than she had told them, as her lawyers used new evidence in the cross-examination of witnesses.
David Funch, Susan Forte’s lawyer, told the court: “My client should not be compelled to tell anybody anything”.
But the coroner disagreed.
They took the unusual step of suspending the inquest for the next 24 hours.
The coroner also rescheduled witnesses to give Susan Forte the time to provide police with a new statement on Wednesday.
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