AUTOPSIES OF SIEGE VICTIMS TO BE COMPLETED BY CHRISTMAS

December 17 2014

– The NSW Coroners Court has prioritised the autopsies of Martin Place victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

The court hopes the bodies can be released to their families before Christmas, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

The autopsy of Man Monis is still yet to be carried out and is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Meanwhile NSW police want Sydneysiders to know they are safe.

Hundreds of police have hit the streets around the city’s popular locations, including Martin Place and Circular Quay, after Sydney’s fatal siege.

There is an enhanced police presence in Martin Place today and throughout the city. Pictu
There is an enhanced police presence in Martin Place today and throughout the city. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Fuller said police had noticed the huge numbers of friends, families and strangers flocking to Martin Place since the hostage situation gripped the city on Monday.

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“We see the fear in their eyes and we want to let them know that we are out there, to know they are safe and they can go about their business like normal,” he said today.

One police officer in particular went about his business as usual today returning to work after being hit in the face with a shotgun pellet at the height of the siege.

The 39-year-old, who can’t be named, was rushed to hospital early on Tuesday morning and was discharged the same day.

The first person to exit Martin Place Station after trains started to service the stop ag
The first person to exit Martin Place Station after trains started to service the stop again carried a bunch of flowers to leave at the memorial just outside. Picture: Getty Images
It’s understood he had a pellet graze on his cheek after police stormed the Lindt cafe in Martin Place in the CBD, where a gunman was holding 17 people hostage.

Shaken but undeterred, the injured officer told his superiors he would be back at work today.

And he stuck to his word.

“My understanding is he is back at work,” Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Fuller said.

“He is a very brave person.

“You think about the hostages and the police that went into that cafe and the bravery they all showed, I don’t think words could ever possibly explain it.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said one autopsy into the deaths at Martin Place was completed yesterday, with another two being carried out today, but results are not expected to be finalised this week.

Details of those results will be handed to the NSW Homicide Squad which is leading the investigation into the deaths and will report to the coroner before he sets a date for an inquest.

The post mortem results along with ballistic evidence being analysed by NSW police will be crucial in establishing what happened in the moments after the gunman Monis fired the first shot inside the Lindt Cafe.

The enhanced police presence is hoped to make the public feel more comfortable. Picture:
The enhanced police presence is hoped to make the public feel more comfortable. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Police are flooding the city to help the public feel safer. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Police are flooding the city to help the public feel safer. Picture: Tim Hunter.
The increased around-the-clock policing, part of Operation Hammerhead, comes as a man was charged for allegedly threatening to destroy the Auburn mosque on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old allegedly called the mosque and made a number of threats.

Police arrested him in Dural in Sydney’s northwest and he was charged with four offences, including threatening to destroy property.

The 30-year-old was granted bail to appear in court next year.

Mr Fuller said there had been some issues of hate and bias crime but said it was minimal compared to the outpouring of support.

“You have all seen the flowers down at Martin Place,” he said.

Police Rescue Squad officers taped up black plastic on the outside of the Lindt Cafe wind
Police Rescue Squad officers taped up black plastic on the outside of the Lindt Cafe windows to block the view into the crime scene. Picture: Bill Hearne
Police have had to move on some curious onlookers as they continue their investigation. P
Police have had to move on some curious onlookers as they continue their investigation. Picture: Bill Hearne
As police prepare to reopen Martin Place, a cordon is set up around the cafe. Picture: Bi
As police prepare to reopen Martin Place, a cordon is set up around the cafe. Picture: Bill Hearne
Officers remained at the Lindt cafe in Martin Place examining the scene of the fatal siege.

Forensic crews have worked throughout the night at the Lindt cafe to black out the very windows which had imprisoned hostages less than 24 hours earlier.

Teams of detectives have been busy combing over the area and could be seen marking out where shotgun pellets had struck the glass.

The inside of the up-market cafe is a mess of debris, shattered glass and jars of chocolates that somehow remained intact.

The only shattered window is the most southerly one on Phillip St.

It’s expected the crime scene examination could wrap up by this afternoon, Mr Fuller said.

“We are anticipating hopefully by the end of today the crime scene will be handed back to the owners of the store,” he said.

A very experienced detective inspector is carrying out the critical incident investigation into the siege, Mr Fuller said. But there is no time frame on when it would be completed, he added.

A crime scene perimeter will still be in force around the cafe at the corner of Martin Place and Philip St, but police expect this to cause minimal disruptions to surrounding businesses.

Martin Place train station is also set to reopen at 10am.

Thousands of Sydneysiders and tourists have been making their way nearby to a makeshift shrine to honour those who lost their lives in the siege.

People who work in this zone had been asked to work from home but now authorities are urging them to resume their normal day-to-day routines.

The forensics teams worked through the night inside the Lindt Cafe. Picture: Bill Hearne
The forensics teams worked through the night inside the Lindt Cafe. Picture: Bill Hearne
Forensics officers inside the Lindt Cafe. Picture: Bill Hearne
Forensics officers inside the Lindt Cafe. Picture: Bill Hearne
The forensic investigation is expected to continue throughout today. Picture: Bill Hearne
The forensic investigation is expected to continue throughout today. Picture: Bill Hearne
Assistant Commissioner Michael Fuller last night urged all Sydneysiders to go about their daily activities as usual on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow we are expecting the Sydney CBD to be back open for business and I encourage each and every member of the public to go back to their usual day-to-day activities,” he said.

“Martin Place will be open and we will ensure there is a strong police presence to maintain public confidence.

“NSW Police officers continue to carefully undertake crime scene analysis at the cafe, and that will continue tomorrow.”

Martin Place train station, which has been closed since soon after the siege began on Monday morning, is expected to reopen after the morning rush hour commute at 10am.

Chocolate displays remain in place despite the horror that occurred inside. Picture: Bill
Chocolate displays remain in place despite the horror that occurred inside. Picture: Bill Hearne
The empty cafe where police are continuing their investigation. Picture: Bill Hearne
The empty cafe where police are continuing their investigation. Picture: Bill Hearne
Just metres from where police worked to black out the scene, people continued to add to the incredible tribute wall that had been set up early on Tuesday morning.

Mourners visited the site at all hours of the night, with queues of people lining up to add cards and flowers to the thousands already laid.

The sheer size of the initial tribute wall meant a second one had to be established at the other end of the cordon.

– Ben Pike

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Crimewave2014@gmail.com
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