Coroner hands down Sydney Siege findings

Says police not to blame.

24 May 2017

Article heading image for Coroner hands down Sydney Siege findings

The NSW Coroner has handed down his findings into the Lindt Cafe siege, which claimed the lives of two hostages including former Terrigal High School student Tori Johnson.

Michael Barnes says the deaths and injuries were not the fault of the police, but of terrorist Man Haron Monis alone.

"I cannot stress too heavily that the deaths and injuries that occurred as a result of the siege were not the fault of the police," Mr Barnes said in his findings into the December 2014 siege that ended in the deaths of two hostages, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

"All of the blame for those rest Man Haron Monis."

"He created the intensely dangerous situation, he maliciously executed Tori Johnson, he barricaded himself into a corner of the cafe and his actions or police to enter the cafe in circumstances where the risk of hostages being wounded or killed was very high."

The coroner said the frontline police officers who smashed their way into the cafe after 2am on December 16 knew Monis was armed with a gun he would almost certainly use against them.

They also thought - wrongly as it turned out - that he was carrying a bomb that would kill everyone in the cafe unless they could kill him before he detonated it.

"The bravery of these officers inspires all," Mr Barnes said.

The coroner noted, however, that NSW Police underestimated the deadly threat posed by Lindt Cafe gunman Man Haron  Monis partly because they relied too heavily on questionable advice from a  consultant psychiatrist.

He also said Police made a mistake when they failed to arrest Man Haron Monis on new sex offences two months before the Lindt Cafe siege and a prosecutor's handling of his bail matters was inadequate and wrong, a coroner found.

NSW coroner Michael Barnes also said neither the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions nor the police realised that some of the new sex offences were committed while Monis was on bail for Commonwealth offences for sending offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.

Monis was on bail awaiting trial for 40 sex offences and for being an accessory to the murder of his Australian ex-wife at the time of the incident.

With AAP

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