No risk assessment before 2012 NSW siege

27/09/2019 Posted by admin

Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson was fatally stabbed during a siege.Police responding to a siege involving a mother and son at a rural Sydney property failed to adequately assess risks before an officer was fatally stabbed, a NSW coroner has found.

Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson, 45, was killed by Michell Barbieri, then 19, after the stand-off at Oakville in December 2012.

“This case, and others, serve as a reminder of the enormously difficult job that police are required to do,” Deputy State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan said in her findings on Tuesday.

The trouble began when Barbieri and his mother Fiona lashed out at their neighbours during a long-running feud, furious they were installing flood lights.

Police were called when Barbieri fired a compound bow and arrow at an electrician before they barricaded themselves inside.

Over subsequent hours, the police operation was hindered by miscommunication.

One of the near-40 police reports about the Barbieris warned Mitchell may be suicidal and had access to hunting knives.

However, a system warning only said Fiona Barbieri was unarmed and suffered from paranoia – nothing was recorded against Mitchell’s name.

Police surrounded the home as the duo became more and more agitated, yelling “f*** off” and accusing police of corruption.

Det Anderson spoke with Mitchell Barbieri through a rear door, warning him police had a warrant to enter and he was under arrest.

Colleagues noticed the Barbieris, who had two bull mastiffs inside, were becoming “more hostile” and the conflict was escalating.

Mitchell lunged at Det Anderson with a knife when police forced entry, stabbing him in the chest and face. Det Anderson died in Hawkesbury Hospital less than an hour later.

Ms O’Sullivan highlighted the results of a critical incident investigation, which found faults including that there was no clear understanding of who was in command.

There was no clear start and finish to briefings and the plan of action was not clearly articulated to all officers, she added.

There was also no adequate risk assessment completed and a failure to properly factor in mental health concerns outside of colloquial references such as the resident being “a nutter”.

The inquest heard over six years the NSW Police Force has instituted major changes about risk assessment and siege responses.

Mitchell Barbieri pleaded guilty to murder and received a 35-year sentence, which was slashed to 21 with a minimum of 15 years on appeal.

His mother was sentenced to 10 years with a non-parole period of six for manslaughter.

Australian Associated Press

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