• Joyce Clarke died in September 2019 following an encounter with WA Police in Geraldton, Western Australia. (AAP)Source: AAP
The mother of a Yamatji woman who was fatally shot by a WA Police officer says she is ready for the trial, as the officer is set to make his plea next week.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
22 May 2020 - 10:13 AM  UPDATED 22 May 2020 - 3:00 PM

Western Australian travel restrictions could prevent Anne Jones from attending the court appearance of a police officer who has been charged with the murder of her daughter Joyce Clarke.

Ms Jones told NITV News she is looking at applying for a travel exemption so she can drive down from Mullewa in Western Australia's mid-west region to Perth, 465 kilometres away.

On Monday, Western Australia entered phase two of the easing of COVID restrictions, although people in Perth can now travel within the metropolitan, South West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions, travel to the Midwest is still prohibited for non-essential reasons.

Western Australians are able to apply for special exemptions online to travel outside of their regional boundaries.

"I'm just waiting to ring this lawyer up to see if I can get down there," she said.

"I would love to take my grandson down to show him who he [the accused] is but maybe not this early."

Last year, Ms Jones' daughter Joyce Clarke was fatally shot by a police officer who was on the way to a call out in Geraldton, 400 kilometres north of Perth. 

Ms Clarke received a gunshot wound to her stomach and was taken to Geraldton Regional Hospital where she later died.

In February, the constable, whose name has been suppressed for his and his family's safety, was charged with one count of murder in relation to the Yamatji woman's death.

The officer was transported down to Perth, where he made his first court appearance and was granted bail of $100,000.

The accused has been stood down and remains a member of WA Police.

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Ms Clarke left behind a 7-year-old son, who Ms Jones had been looking after. She said her grandson is doing "good" but says he has a fear of police. 

"He knows what happened to his mother. When we go over to Geraldton, and we go past the police station to get to the shops, he'll look at me and he'll say, 'Nanna, are you gonna go into that police station there and ask who shot your daughter?' This is what comes out of his mouth," Ms Jones said.

"But he has no problem with the police in Mullewa, he got no dramas with the police in Carnarvon," she said.

Recent Hedland shooting

Earlier this month, a non-Indigenous FIFO worker went on a stabbing rampage at South Hedland shopping centre injuring five people including a mother who was pushing her infant in a pram.

South Hedland police tried to taser the man before fatally shooting him dead inside the shops in the state's Pilbara region. 

Ms Jones says its cases like this that makes her relive the trauma of losing her daughter.

"It brings back a lot of memories, it makes me angry more than anything because whatever happened as happened but seeing what happens to other people now, it's not okay," she said.

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Ms Jones says she is still waiting for the coroner's inquest but said the coroner told her Ms Clarke had some heart issues, which Ms Jones already knew. 

Ms Jones acknowledges that heart issue could have killed Ms Clarke if police had tasered her, but the family will never know.

WA Police confirmed there was no body-camera vision or dashcam vision of Ms Clarke's death. However, the investigation found crucial CCTV footage which shows the shooting of Ms Clarke.

Ms Jones said she is ready for when her daughter's trial commences but said she wouldn't stay in the courts when the CCTV footage is played. 

"I have never been to the site where it happened, only my children and my grandchildren have been there, but I haven't been there because this is the part where I'll break down, you see, so I won't go there," she said.

The accused is set to appear in a plea hearing next Wednesday.

**Ms Clarke's family has given approval for names and images to be used.**