Coroner investigates WA siege

Members of the WA Police Tactical Response Team. Picture: File image
Members of the WA Police Tactical Response Team. Picture: File image

A WEST Australian coroner is examining the self-inflicted death of a man after a six-hour siege at his ex-partner’s house involving a full Tactical Response Group team and a police negotiator.

The drama unfolded in February 2016, the month after Ryan Philip Scrivener’s relationship broke down following weeks of police responding to domestic incidents at the woman’s Brookdale house.

Scrivener, 42, was also suffering from financial stress and was increasingly using drugs.

The woman obtained a violence restraining order after he sent a threatening message, leaving her terrified, but police failed to serve it on him for several days.

After more texts, she changed the locks on her house and stayed elsewhere for a while.

When she returned, she found a copy of the VRO with his handwriting on it, so she fled.

Scrivener sent her a text message the next day saying he was inside.

Police arrived, seeking to speak with him, but he didn’t answer the doorbell and instead kept texting his ex.

When he phoned her, a constable answered instead and asked Scrivener to come outside but he replied: “If you guys come in, it will not end well for you”.

Police declared the situation a barricade and brought in the TRG, who called out to him and tried to phone him before one officer took a step through the front door.

Scrivener yelled “f*** off, get out”, moved behind a wall and the distinct sound of a pump action shotgun being readied was heard.

More police and TRG officers raced to the scene, bringing a BearCat armoured vehicle and shotguns loaded with bean bag ammunition.

When a negotiator spoke over a loudspeaker to Scrivener, there was initially no response, but minutes later, he opened the door and told officers to “f*** off” from behind the security screen.

He also mentioned something about giving his wallet to his friend Lance then shut the door.

Just over 90 minutes later, police heard a “dull bang” or a “muffled pop”.

A “breach and hold” action was formulated but delayed for an hour when movement was suspected in the house.

After the front door was rammed with the Bearcat, Scrivener was found dead.

The coroner is reviewing the risk assessments and circumstances of the siege, and determining whether there was any opportunity to prevent his death.

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