Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Scott William MARTIN

Inquest into the Death of Scott William MARTIN

Delivered on : 10 August 2021

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Urquhart

Recommendations:

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: Scott Martin died in the early hours of 14 January 2017 at Peel Health Campus from two stab wounds to his back.  Mr Martin was the random victim of an unlawful homicide committed by a man who was having a drug-induced psychotic episode at the time.  Mr Martin was 40 years old.

On the night of 12 January 2017, the offender was at the casino, where he met another man. They both gambled, drank alcohol, and smoked methylamphetamine throughout the night and into the early hours of the following morning.  The offender then boarded a train to Mandurah where he met a person who he knew and who invited him back to her house in Mandurah. The offender stayed at this address for some time, drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. Later that evening, the offender began behaving aggressively and at one point grabbed a knife and threatened to kill a person who was present at the same address, as well as making further threats. Before leaving this address, the offender tore off some guttering from a patio. He left on foot shortly after midnight.

Police were notified and assistance was requested. As police officers were attending, two other police officers located the offender standing in a vacant block nearby. The offender became aggressive and a physical altercation occurred between him and the police. He was arrested and taken to the Mandurah Police Station. As the occupants at the address did not want to make a complaint that night, the offender was released unconditionally from the Mandurah Police Station. It was the intention of police to later charge him by summons for the earlier altercation with police. Just before 1.30 am, the offender was driven by the police to his stated home address at an apartment complex in Valley Road, Halls Head.

Mr Martin, who had been out spending the day with his partner, arrived home just prior to midnight.  He and his partner lived in the same apartment complex that the offender had been taken to by police.  Mr Martin went to sleep on the couch in the loungeroom and his partner went for a walk.  CCTV footage from the apartment complex shows Mr Martin’s partner leaving just before 1.00 am and returning at about 1.30 am, which was shortly after the offender was dropped off at the apartment complex by police.  Mr Martin’s girlfriend entered her unit and went to the bedroom and settled down to sleep. 

The offender entered the same unit without being detected, and obtained two knives from the kitchen.  He then stabbed Mr Martin twice in the back as he lay sleeping on the couch.  Mr Martin’s partner emerged from the bedroom to confront the offender, who then seriously assaulted her. Mr Martin’s partner managed to flee and seek assistance. Emergency services were called, and Mr Martin was found lying on the floor behind the couch. Despite his critical injuries, he was still alive.  An ambulance attended and Mr Martin was conveyed to the Peel Health Campus. Unfortunately, Mr Martin’s condition deteriorated, and he did not survive his injuries.

The offender pleaded guilty to Mr Martin’s murder on 13 August 2018 and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years.

The Coroner made three recommendations directed to enhance police responses to incidents involving persons with mental health issues in metropolitan and regional areas.

Catch Words : Police Communication : Mental Health Co-Response Model : Body-Worn Cameras : Recommendations : Unlawful Homicide


Last updated: 19-Nov-2021

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