Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Andrew John KEY

Inquest into the Death of Andrew John KEY

 

Delivered on : 4 November 2020

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : State Coroner Fogliani

Recommendations : Yes

Recommendation No. 1

That the Mental Health Co-Response continue to be funded, and that consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support expansion of the programme in a way that meets demand.

Recommendation No. 2

That consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support the expansion of the Mental Health Co-Response in metropolitan areas of Perth.

Recommendation No. 3

That work continue on the planning of the Mental Health Co-Response in regional areas of the State, and consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support the expansion of the Mental Health Co-Response into regional areas.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : On 11 August 2015 Mr Key died at Rockingham General Hospital as a result of a self-inflicted injury to his neck that occurred while police officers were in the course of restraining him. He was 49 years old.

Mr Key had a longstanding diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder and in the week leading up to his death the condition had relapsed and he had displayed increasingly erratic and aggressive behaviour. Mr Key lived with his parents who in the days leading up to the date of his death made a number of attempts to inform his clinicians and the police of their concerns about his escalating behaviour. On 11 August 2015 Mr Key attended the house of an acquaintance, where an argument ensured. He abruptly left the house in a stolen vehicle and he was thought to be in possession of a shotgun. Mr Key’s mother contacted Police advising them of his behaviour which was highly erratic and also that he had disclosed an intention to take his life.

Police searched and located Mr Key, who when he saw the Police fled on foot and entered an area of bushland. Police followed him into the bushland and located him crouched under a bush. Mr Key did not show his hands when instructed to do so by police, and two officers moved towards Mr Key in an attempt to restrain him. A struggle ensued and police became aware Mr Key had a knife in one hand. Attempts to disarm Mr Key were unsuccessful and Mr Key momentarily broke free of police. Mr Key has then stabbed himself in his neck. One police officer deployed his Taser, causing Mr Key’s arm to drop away from his neck. Police then restrained Mr Key and applied first aid. Paramedics attended and conveyed Mr Key to Rockingham General Hospital, where unfortunately, despite all resuscitation efforts, he could not be revived.

The State Coroner was satisfied the police officers did not cause or contribute to Mr Key’s death and that they were in the process of carrying out their legitimate policing functions.

The State Coroner made three recommendations aimed to support and expand the Mental Health co-Response.

Catch Words : Death in Police Presence : Mental Health Co-Response: Psychiatric History : Suicide


Last updated: 13-Nov-2020

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