Australia

Sydney siege inquest: Key transcript extracts

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Media captionLawyer Jeremy Gormly: "Ms Dawson was struck by six fragments of a police bullet or bullets"

A coroner's inquest has opened into the armed siege at a cafe in Sydney, Australia in December 2014 that left two hostages and the gunman dead.

Here are key extracts from the report given by Jeremy Gormly SC, counsel assisting the New South Wales coroner, on the first day of the inquest.

'Ordinary day'

"Monday the 15th of December began in such an ordinary way. People were starting their day, going to work, coming into town to see the doctor, doing shopping with family members, meeting friends for coffee before work.

"It was so ordinary that anyone, friends or family, could have found themselves that morning in the convenient and pleasant Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, right in the middle of Sydney.

...

"At about 08:33, Mr Monis entered the Lindt Cafe. At the time he was dressed in camouflage long pants, a white T-shirt, a black jacket, a baseball cap and was wearing a large black backpack and carrying a blue plastic bag.

'Ordered cake'

"Mr Monis met his own family law lawyer by chance in or near the Lindt Cafe, but no relevant discussion occurred. The lawyer had a commitment elsewhere. Mr Monis sat in the cafe, he ordered and ate a piece of chocolate cake and drank some tea.

"He then asked the Lindt employee that had been serving him, if he could move to a table which is close to the rear doors that open into the Martin Place foyer... From this table Mr Monis would have been able to view the whole of the cafe.

"About 30 minutes later, he told the waitress that he wished to speak to the manager. He did not say why. The manager, Mr Tori Johnson, approached and sat with him. Staff watching them knew Mr Johnson well and could tell from his body language that he was stressed by what he was hearing from the customer.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Monis was seen wearing a rucksack and black headband throughout the siege

"Mr Johnson then said to another employee, in a low voice, something like: 'I need you to go get my keys from the office and lock the doors. We're closed. Everything is ok. Tell the staff to be calm'.

"The doors to the cafe were locked as requested. Mr Monis then put on a vest and a bandana, he stood up, produced the pump action shotgun and by one account he states: 'This is an attack, I have a bomb'.

'No notice'

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Katrina Dawson was hit by fragments from police bullets, the inquest heard

"Mr Monis told hostages he had a bomb in his backpack. He did not remove his backpack throughout the entire incident. During the course of the siege he said that he would shoot people for various reasons, for example, that if he did so, he would be taken seriously...

"Mr Johnson was made by Mr Monis to kneel on the floor of the cafe. After a short lapse of time Mr Monis simply shot him without further notice or warning, in the back of the head. The end of the barrel was about 75cm from Mr Johnson's head at the moment of discharge. Mr Johnson is believed to have died immediately.

"The shot was witnessed by a police marksman who called it in. That resulted in an immediate order to force entry. Entry to the cafe occurred within seconds...

"Ms Dawson was struck by six fragments of a police bullet or bullets, which ricocheted from hard surfaces into her body. I will not detail the damage done to Ms Dawson other than to say that one fragment struck a major blood vessel, she lost consciousness quickly and died shortly afterwards."

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