Man shot by police while escaping home intruder must pay back $500k in compensation
- August 11, 2015
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A 23 year old Sydney man shot by police while running for help after a home invasion has been ordered by the court to repay over $512,000 in compensation.
Mr McMaster, who had been awarded $512,000 in compensation, his sister Kayla, 22, who was awarded $132,000 and their mother, Georgie Karakizos, 45, who had been awarded nearly $90,000, must now repay the money. They must also pay all costs for the appeal which was brought by the State of NSW.
In a judgment that has reinforced the rights of police to protect themselves, the Court of Appeal has found Justin McMaster to be ‘at fault’ as he ran down the street brandishing a curtain rod.
It was found that Mr McMaster, 23, who was, at the time of the incident, fleeing from a home invasion by three men who assaulted his mother and held a knife to the throat of his sister Kayla; grabbed a curtain rail and ran into the street calling: “Where’s my sister, where’s my sister?”. This was witnessed by Constable Natasha Kleinman, and Constable John Fanning as they arrived on scene.
Constable Kleinman drew her Taser and shouted: “Stop, police, stop”.
The court found that Constable Fanning had “reasonable grounds” to believe that Mr McMaster was a threat to his partner when he shot him in the stomach (with his pistol, not a taser) because Mr McMaster was only a few steps from them. “I did not know if he was the offender and he was running” Constable Fanning had explained to the court.
As a result, the court found that Mr McMaster, had been guilty of a common assault and having an offensive implement when he didn’t stop when commanded to do so by police.
In their findings handed down yesterday, Justice Margaret Beazley, Justice Ruth McColl and Justice Anthony Meagher overruled an earlier finding in the District Court that it was the police who had been in the wrong.
Mr McMaster’s solicitor Greg Walsh yesterday said the decision gave police “carte blanche” to shoot people. “