Flowers at the memorial to murdered policeman Senior Constable Brett Forte outside Toowoomba Police Station. Picture: Darren England.
Flowers at the memorial to murdered policeman Senior Constable Brett Forte outside Toowoomba Police Station. Picture: Darren England.

Brett Forte inquest date set after family plea

An inquest into the shooting death of police officer Brett Forte has finally been set, more than three years since he died, after lawyers for his grieving widow wrote to Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath pleading for the matter to be brought before the coroner.

The Sunday Mail can reveal that the Queensland Coroners Court has set a date for the long-awaited inquest into the Senior Constable's killing, beginning with a preliminary hearing in Brisbane next month.
It is three-and-a-half years since Sen-Const Forte died.

Brett and Susan Forte on their wedding day.
Brett and Susan Forte on their wedding day.

The Sunday Mail understands the decision to list the inquiry came just days after a letter was sent to Ms D'Ath by the legal team that represents Sen-Const Forte's widow Susan Forte, citing their dissatisfaction with the significant delays in the matter coming before a coroner.

The father of three was killed by crazed gunman Ricky Maddison who ambushed him and other officers in May 2017, near Toowoomba.

Sen-Const Forte, who was stationed in Toowoomba's Tactical Crime Squad, was shot before the gunman fled.

The gunman, who had a "grievance against police", then commenced a 20-hour stand-off with the Special Emergency Response Team before confronting officers who shot and killed him.

Susan Forte, wife of murdered policeman Senior Constable Brett Forte visits the memorial to her husband outside Toowoomba Police Station with her family. Picture: Darren England.
Susan Forte, wife of murdered policeman Senior Constable Brett Forte visits the memorial to her husband outside Toowoomba Police Station with her family. Picture: Darren England.

In the more than three years since Sen-Const Forte's death, his father Stuart Forte, who is a retired police officer, has repeatedly said the lengthy time frame for listing the inquest had been difficult for the family.

In April, when the inquest was delayed because of COVID, he said the family had not yet been able to have any closure.

The inquest is expected to finally be held in Toowoomba later this year after the pre-inquest hearing in Brisbane next month.

Stuart Forte poses in Narangba on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Picture: Claudia Baxter.
Stuart Forte poses in Narangba on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Picture: Claudia Baxter.

It is understood the coroner will consider the Queensland Police Service internal investigation into Sen-Const Forte's death by the Ethical Standards Command.

The inquiry will investigate any changes that should be made to stop a similar tragic incident occurring in the future and will consider the investigation by police into Maddison.

Slain police office Brett Forte. Picture: supplied
Slain police office Brett Forte. Picture: supplied

The inquest will also investigate the pursuit and attempted apprehension of Maddison, who was later shot by police and the actions of other police and their efforts to assist Senior Constable Forte once he had been shot.

When asked about the matter, solicitor for Mrs Forte, Howden Saggers Lawyers partner Dave Garratt, confirmed a letter had been sent to the Attorney-General but declined to comment further about the matter.



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