Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Warren John BULLOCK

Inquest into the Death of Warren John BULLOCK

Delivered on : 26 April 2024

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations : No

Orders/Rules : No

Suppression Order : Yes

On the basis it would be contrary to the public interest, I make an Order under s49(1)(b) Coroners Act 1996 that there be no reporting or publication of the details of any of the versions of the WA Police Emergency Driving Policy and Guidelines, including, but not limited to, any cap on the speed at which police officers are authorised to drive.

Summary : Warren John Bullock (Mr Bullock) died on 1 July 2022 at a cycleway underpass near the intersection of Lakes Road and Kwinana Freeway, Stake Hill.  He was 49-years of age and his cause of death was cardiac arrythmia in a man with methylamphetamine effect and cardiomegaly

Mr Bullock had an extensive criminal record and police were searching for him in relation to various alleged offences relating to weapons, grievous bodily harm, and possession of methylamphetamine.

Shortly before 7.00 pm on 1 July 2022, an automatic number plate activation camera detected Mr Bullock driving a Holden Maloo utility (the Vehicle) on Forrest Highway in Lake Clifton.  The Vehicle was registered to one of Mr Bullock’s associates, and at 9.31 pm the Officers were tasked to intercept the Vehicle, which was travelling on Lakes Road in Greenfields.

At about 9.35 pm, police officers in an unmarked vehicle (the Officers) saw the Vehicle drive into the carpark of Peel Health Campus on Lakes Road in Mandurah, closely followed by two marked police vehicles.  A short time later, Mr Bullock drove the Vehicle back onto Lakes Road and headed north at considerable speed.

The Officers pursued Mr Bullock’s vehicle, and although the emergency lights and sirens on their unmarked police car were activated, Mr Bullock failed to stop.  Instead, Mr Bullock continued driving the Vehicle at high speed east along Lakes Road towards the Kwinana Freeway.

The Officers briefly lost sight of the Vehicle as it rounded a turn on Lakes Road, but sighted it again and continued the intercept.  The Police Operations Centre had authorised the Officers to intercept the Vehicle, and subsequently authorised them to exceed any posted speed limits.

Shortly after Mr Bullock drove onto the Kwinana Freeway and headed north, the Officers lost sight of the Vehicle again, but then saw brake lights which they assumed belonged to the Vehicle.  However, as the Officers approached the brake lights, they realised it was not the Vehicle and the intercept was terminated a few minutes after it had begun.

At about 10.00 pm, a police officer found Mr Bullock lying, unresponsive, on the ground in a cycleway underpass in the vicinity of the Lakes Road freeway on-ramp.  Despite resuscitation efforts by police and ambulance officers, Mr Bullock could not be resuscitated and was declared deceased.

The coroner concluded that in view of the seriousness of the offences allegedly committed by Mr Bullock and the fact that it was strongly suspected that he was armed, the decision by the Officers to attempt to intercept the Vehicle was clearly appropriate.  The coroner was also satisfied that neither the actions of the Officers during the attempted intercept, nor the efforts of police officers involved in providing CPR to Mr Bullock caused or contributed to Mr Bullock’s death.

Catch Words : Police intercept : Death not in police presence :: Natural causes

Last updated: 16-May-2024

[ back to top ]