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NSW Coroners Court hearing into the death of Gordon Copeland

[by Fred McGrady]


Image: supplied

The two weeks Coroners Court hearing held in Moree into the death of 22-year-old beloved Gomeroi father, partner, son, brother and cousin, Gordon Copeland, concluded Friday.

Each day of this intensive investigation, his large extended family, their Uncle Lyall Munro and local supporters sat through the process, comforting each other. Throughout the inquest, his family members maintained their dignity and composure, as they heard the evidence of his final hours and of the insensitivity displayed by the Police.

Gordon lost his young life, whilst being pursued, on foot, by several Police near a flooded river on the outskirts of Moree, NSW.

That night, Gordon was walking home, when he accepted a lift with a friend and his girlfriend in a car that, unbeknownst to him, was adversely known to the Police. Police pursued and tried to stop the vehicle.

The unlicensed driver, attempting to abscond, drove out of town to a nearby river, where all three occupants abandoned the vehicle. Police continued their pursuit on foot.


Despite having no outstanding offences, Gordon, a Gomeroi man with local knowledge of that river, scared, fearing apprehension, ran towards it in the darkness. Police
presence, especially vehicles, or foot pursuits, adversely impact upon our people, particularly our youth.

Gordon fell down an eight-metre embankment, potentially sustaining injury, before disappearing into the flooded river. Police searched for him for 9 minutes.

The family await the handing down of the Coroners findings on February 22, 2023


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