ACT News


Crowley shooting decision wait over

It's judgment day for the Crowley family.

The ACT Court of Appeal will on Monday morning deliver its verdict in the civil case of Jonathan Crowley, who was shot in the neck by police 11 years ago this month.

Last year ACT Supreme Court Justice Hilary Penfold found in favour of Mr Crowley, now a quadriplegic, and awarded him $8 million in damages.

But the family is yet to see a cent, with both the Australian Federal Police and ACT Mental Health appealing the decision.

Justices Anna Katzmann, Bruce Lander and Anthony Besanko will hand down the decision.

The day before the shooting, an ACT Mental Health psychologist assessed Mr Crowley at his home and recommended he be treated at a hospital.


The next morning he left the family home with a kendo stick and walked through the suburb of Chapman chanting religious slogans.

Two police officers approached him and failed to subdue him with capsicum spray before Senior Constable Glen Pitkethly shot him in the neck.

The shooting left him in a wheelchair and needing around-the-clock care.

His primary carers are his ageing parents, Keith and Paloma.

''It's been a battle … [the money] would take the financial load off us,'' Keith Crowley said last week.

''It would clear our mortgage and the other loans, particularly from family.''

In the Court of Appeal, lawyers for ACT Mental Health argued mental health workers would have needed ''a crystal ball'' to predict the shooting.

But Mr Crowley's legal team argued the authorities had a general duty of care towards their client.

They also said the police who arrived at the scene first should have stayed in their car and waited for back-up.

But lawyers acting for the AFP argued officers should be able to make split-second decisions in operational settings without fear of being sued.