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  • Queensland police officer faces murder charge via private prosecution over Jason Protheroe shooting
  • By Josh Bavas
  • 28/01/2015 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Rambo ( 5 articles in 2015 )
Senior Constable Thomas Hess leaving the coronial inquest in 2013
The family of a Brisbane man shot dead by police during a call-out have filed a murder charge against an officer via a private prosecution.

Thomas Andrew McNaught Hess fatally shot Jason Protheroe, 36, during the stand-off with police in the backyard of a Bracken Ridge house on Brisbane's northside in April 2012.

The officers had wanted to question Mr Protheroe over some stolen property.

Mr Protheroe was holding a replica gun but Senior Consable Hess believed it was real, a coronial inquest found.

It was found he was shot twice, in the back and the back of his arm.

The victim's family said Hess would be summonsed to face a charge of murder in the Brisbane Magistrates Court early next month.

The Department of Public Prosecution did not lay the murder charge, but under the law a private prosecution can be launched by an individual.

Mr Protheroe's father Stephen Protheroe criticised Police Union president Ian Leavers for telling the media after the shooting that his son Jason was armed.

Stephen Protheroe said they were vicious and malicious lies.

"You [Mr Leavers] tainted this whole case and painted a picture which wasn't true," he said.

Police union outraged by allegation

Mr Leavers said Hess had been issued with a summonsed to appear for the offences of manslaughter and murder despite being cleared by the coroner, police ethical standards and the now Crime and Corruption Commission.

Mr Leavers said Mr Protheroe had aimed the replica gun at Hess, who believed his life was at risk.

"It's just not right that a police officer doing his job can be served with a summons on a whim," Mr Leavers said.

"This is scary stuff and we are outraged."

The police union said it would use its legal team to have the matter withdrawn from the court.

"I believe there is no case to answer," Mr Leavers said.


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