Inside story of suspected sex offender’s death during bloody police stand-off

Steve ZemekNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

A suspected child sex offender was killed when he reacted with “extreme violence” during a bloody stand-off with police, a coroner has ruled.

Newman was shot dead inside the beer garden of a Sydney eastern suburbs pub on January 26, 2018 after a violent confrontation with police during which he stabbed an officer.

Deputy state coroner Elizabeth Ryan on Tuesday handed down her findings into the 33-year-old’s death at the Maroubra Junction Hotel after police attempted to execute a warrant for his arrest.

Police had previously interviewed a young woman who had alleged she had been sexually abused by Newman.

Newman had told friends he needed to “hunt her down” and threatened other acts of violences including exploding a bomb.

Nick Newman died when police attempted to arrest him at a Sydney pub on Australia Day in 2018.
Camera IconNick Newman died when police attempted to arrest him at a Sydney pub on Australia Day in 2018. Credit: Supplied

The court previously heard Newman was trained in martial arts and had an infatuation with knives.

He was also involved with a group that called itself the “Zombie Eradication Response Team”.

When police raided his property before his attempted arrest, they seized several bladed weapons.

A former Australian Federal Police officer and one of Newman’s friends had tipped off police that he would be at the Maroubra Junction Hotel on Australia Day.

When three detectives arrived in the beer garden just after 3pm, Newman was drinking and writing his will.

The three detectives had a plan for Detective Sergeant John Breda to “bear hug” Newman from behind and subdue him.

As the detectives moved in to arrest Newman, they shouted for him to get on the ground but he stabbed Sergeant Breda twice in the ribcage with a double-edged tactical knife.

The detective suffered serious injuries and was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital where doctors saved his life.

Newman was shot seven times by Senior Constable Benjamin Anderson and Detective Senior Constable Tim Carey.

Newman was told to throw down his knife but said to the detectives “f*** you” and tried to use his knife to slit his own throat before he died at the scene.

Ms Ryan said there were some “shortcomings” with Newman’s attempted arrest but the inquest did not uncover any systemic problems with police procedure.

She said Constable Anderson and Constable Carey had at the last moment decided to execute the arrest with their guns drawn but failed to inform Sergeant Breda.

As well, Sergeant Breda was not aware of information about the risks posed by Newman.

Despite this, she said: “It must also never be forgotten that whatever the shortcomings of the arrest plan, it was Mr Newman alone who made the decision to violently attack Detective Breda when he called for him to submit to a lawful arrest.

“Detective Breda was very seriously injured and he has endured a long period of physical, and perhaps emotional, suffering as a result.”

She said the purpose of the inquest was not to “apportion blame”.

“I will conclude by acknowledging that the events of 26 January 2018 must have been very traumatic for everyone involved, in particular Detectives Breda, Anderson and Carey,” she said.

“I sincerely hope that the passage of time will diminish the impacts of what happened on that day.”

Originally published as Inside story of suspected sex offender’s death during bloody police stand-off

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