• The officer accused of murdering Yamatji woman Joyce Clarke has entered a not guilty plea during an administrative committal hearing in Perth. (NITV)Source: NITV
The mother of Joyce Clarke says she wants the trial of her daughter's killer to remain in Perth but the accused police officer's legal defence team says it should be moved to Geraldton.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
30 May 2020 - 1:32 AM  UPDATED 30 May 2020 - 1:32 AM

The family of Yamatji mother Joyce Clarke are pushing for her murder trial to remain in Perth, 400 kilometres south of where she was fatally shot, but the accused murderer's defence team for the police officer accused have requested proceedings be shifted to Western Australia's mid-west region.

Ms Clarke's mother, Anne Jones has told NITV News she wants the trial to remain in Perth to avoid media potentially misrepresenting the Aboriginal community in Geraldton.

“He (the accused) knows if it's held in Geraldton, the community will rally and then the media will use that to put the story his way,” she said.

The accused's lawyers confirmed to NITV News that they are pushing for the trial to be shifted to the regional town, located four hours north of Perth, saying it "makes sense" because the witnesses are all Geraldton locals.

The WA police officer charged with Ms Clarke's murder in February pled not guilty via a consent notice in an administrative committal hearing in Perth's Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Last week, NITV News spoke to Ms Clarke’s mother, who said she had been planning to attend his appearance, which was scheduled for Wednesday, but missed out when proceedings sat a day earlier than expected. 

Ms Jones said she is devastated to have missed the hearing. 

“I feel jacked off. Why did he plead now? It doesn’t make sense,” she said.

The first-class constable officer, whose name has been suppressed, was remanded on bail and will make his first appearance at the Supreme Court in Perth on August 17. 

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Police officer charged over shooting of Yamatji woman Joyce Clarke in September
A police officer has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of Yamatji woman Joyce Clarke following his arrest in Geraldton on Thursday morning.

Last September, Joyce Clarke died from a fatal gunshot wound to her stomach following an encounter with the accused who was en route to a call out in the Geraldton suburb of Karloo.

WA Police confirmed there were eight officers at the scene when Ms Clarke was shot and have stated previously that 14 out of a total 20 witnesses said Ms Clarke had a knife at the time of the shooting. 

Ms Clarke’s family and her supporters have questioned why the officer never used his taser.

No police body-camera or 'dashcam' vision recorded the incident, however, WA Police confirmed there is CCTV vision of the shooting.

The last time a WA police officer was charged over the death of an Aboriginal person was in 1983, over the death of 16-year-old boy John Pat died in Roebourne. All five officers were later acquitted of the charges.

Although the WA Police Commissioner said Ms Clarke’s death is a death in custody, police have ruled it as a 'death in police presence'.

The accused has been stood down but remains a WA Police officer. 

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