The Police officers involved in two fatal pursuits near Warkworth and Murchison in early 2010 complied with law and policy and no aspect of their conduct can be faulted, after investigations by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.
The Authority has released reports into the deaths of Steven John Gorrie and Makoto Izumi on 4 April 2010 in Dome Valley; and of Ricky Allan Forbes on 21 February 2010 near Murchison, following Police pursuits.
The Authority Chair, Justice Lowell Goddard, said in both cases, all decisions, acts, and conduct of the Police officers was lawful, reasonable, and justified. There were no omissions and there was compliance with the requirements of the pursuit policy.
Justice Goddard said the Authority has made just one recommendation arising from the pursuits. It has again recommended that Police adopt new data gathering methods for pursuits involving motorcycles, as first recommended in the Authority’s October 2009 Review of Police Pursuits.
In the Dome Valley pursuit, Steven John Gorrie and his pillion passenger Makoto Izumi died after the 1200cc motorcycle they were travelling on hit an oncoming car. They were being pursued for a speeding offence. The Authority has found the Police officer was justified in commencing the pursuit, and complied with driving policy during the pursuit.
Ricky Allan Forbes died after the Subaru Impreza driven by his cousin crashed into a tree following a short pursuit near Murchison. They were being pursued for dangerous driving and failing to stop. His cousin, Danny Forbes, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four years imprisonment. The Authority has found the Police officer was justified in commencing the pursuit, and complied with policy throughout the pursuit.