License article

Teen shot in stomach sues police

A teenager, who was shot by police who were called to an alleged violent invasion at his home in western Sydney, is suing the NSW Police Force for damages.

Justin McMaster says he was trying to protect his family from three armed attackers who broke into their house in Holmes Street, Colyton. He was shot in the abdomen early on September 26 last year.

Mr McMaster, then 19, suffered a perforated bowel from the gunshot wound and underwent surgery to remove the bullet and part of his small and large bowel.

Along with his mother, Georgia Karakizos, and sister Kayla Karakizos, Mr McMaster is suing the police force in the NSW District Court for assault and breach of duty of care.

Police launched an internal investigation and established Strike Force Gurney to look into the shooting.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for police said the investigation and strike force were both continuing.


In the days after the shooting, the family told the Herald Mr McMaster was trying to protect Kayla, then 17, who was allegedly threatened with rape at knife point by the three intruders.

He ran outside the house holding a length of metal from aluminum blinds but police, who were responding to a report of an armed robbery, thought he was carrying a knife, they said.

Kayla told the Herald that she and her mother had yelled at police that Mr McMaster was a member of the family when they saw a Taser and gun pointed at him.

Ms Karakizos said the three robbers had assaulted her and her partner Paul Sciberras and threatened to rape Kayla.

Lawyers for the State of NSW have yet to file a defence.

Three men, aged aged 20, 21 and 28, were charged over the incident.

The state applied for a stay of the civil proceedings until the criminal matters were resolved, arguing the criminal proceedings could be prejudiced if the three chose to give evidence in Mr McMaster's case.

But Judge Philip Taylor said Mr McMaster was entitled to have his case heard expeditiously and refused to grant a stay. He also ordered the state to pay Mr McMaster's costs.

The matter will return to court on October 9.