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Inquest into Redfern teenager's death begins

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 5 July 2004


The coronial inquest into the death of an Aboriginal teenager in an incident which sparked riots at Redfern in Sydney in February has heard there was a targeted police operation on the morning he suffered fatal injuries.

Thomas 'TJ' Hickey died after crashing his bike and being impaled on a fence post in Redfern in February.

The first witness at the inquest into his death has given evidence about a police operation under way at the time of the incident.

Plain-clothes Constable Darryl Pace has told the inquiry police were looking for an Aboriginal man they believed was responsible for a violent bag-snatch.

In her opening address, counsel assisting the coroner Elizabeth Fulton SC said evidence would also be heard from several police officers who saw TJ Hickey shortly before he crashed.

She said it would also hear from a Salvation Army worker who saw a police vehicle with its blue lights flashing drive down a path shortly after the 17-year-old had ridden past at high speed.

The coroner has set aside two weeks for the inquest.

The court is full of Hickey family members and other community members and all people are being scanned as they enter the court.


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