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Adam Salter shooting: Police agreed to lie about what happened, court hears

ABC News logo ABC News 24/05/2016

Adam Salter died after being shot by a policewoman in 2009. © ABC News Adam Salter died after being shot by a policewoman in 2009. Four police officers at the scene when a man with a mental illness was shot dead "got their heads together" and agreed to lie about what happened, a Sydney court has heard.

In 2009, Adam Salter died after being shot in the back in a Lakemba home.

His father, Adrian Salter had called triple-0 seeking help for his 36-year-old son, who was bleeding in the kitchen after stabbing himself.

Four officers who were called to the scene are on trial, accused of lying to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) about what happened on the day.

Crown prosecutor Nanette Williams told the court the four officers - Sheree Bissett, Aaron Abela, Emily Metcalfe and Leah Wilson - deliberately gave false evidence to the PIC when questioned under oath in 2012.

"It is the crown's case that sometime after the shooting - perhaps even immediately after, they got their heads together and agreed to give a false account of what happened," she said.

The court heard Adam Salter managed to get hold of the knife for a second time even when the paramedics had arrived, and began stabbing himself again.

All four officers claim that one of them, Constable Aaron Abela tried to restrain Adam Salter before another officer - Sergeant Sheree Bissett - shot the victim.

"[Aaron Abela said] he attempted to restrain Adam Salter by grabbing his arm, but his arm slipped because it was covered in blood," Prosecutor Nanette Williams said.

"The crown's case is that this evidence is false, and that he knew it to be false."

The court heard Sergeant Sheree Bissett shouted "Taser, Taser!" but then fired her gun, shooting Adam Salter in the back while he was stabbing himself in the neck.

Father thought son had been Tasered, not shot

Adam Salter's father Adrian was the first witness to give evidence in the trial.

He said when he heard a female officer shout "Taser" and saw his son fall to the ground, he was relieved because he thought his son had been Tasered, not shot.

"I thought 'that's OK' because he was sticking the knife in his [own] throat," Adrian Salter said.

"I then went to him and pulled his hand away - the hand that was holding the knife and he went limp."

Adam Salter was taken to Canterbury Hospital but he died shortly afterwards.

The trial is being heard by a judge only - Justice Greg Woods.

Earlier, tape recordings of calls made on the police radio system were played to the court.

In one, a female officer is heard explaining a man with a self-inflicted stab wound had been shot.

"Just confirming he's been shot by police?" the man taking the call asks.

The female officer is heard confirming that, and then adds "he was coming at us with a knife".

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