Gatton police investigating reports of gunfire put a camera up near the bush property where Maddison was hiding out, but did not tell Toowoomba police.
Days before the shooting on May 24, 2017, Maddison called Toowoomba police and was “extremely aggressive” and could be heard punching the phone booth, accusing police of harassing his family.
Two days later Maddison found and moved the camera, which the court heard fuelled his paranoia.
Counsel assisting the coroner Rhiannon Helsen told state coroner Terry Ryan that the night before the shooting, Maddison stayed at a friend’s place, leaving in the morning to buy alcohol.
“[He] returned furious, claiming that his pension had been cut off,” Ms Helsen told the court.
“He showed [his friend] what he described as ‘a heap of guns’ that were placed in the rear seat of his vehicle.”
Maddison told his friend “everything is already arranged”.
Just after 1pm Maddison called Toowoomba police station and spoke initially to Constable Forte, then demanded to speak to a more senior officer.
While he spoke to the senior officer, who urged him to surrender and come in to the police station, Senior Constable Forte, his partner Senior Constable Catherine Nielsen and other police searched Toowoomba’s public phone boxes.
“Towards the end of the call, Maddison states: ‘Stop playing games, youse, you know where I am. I’ve made it f—ing easy enough for you, I’ve left trails’,” Ms Helsen said.
Maddison was spotted by police and a pursuit began. Senior Constable Forte repeatedly warned his colleagues over police radio to be aware of firearms, but police did not know Maddison had access to automatic weapons.
Maddison turned onto a dirt embankment and down a forestry track. Only some 4WD police vehicles, including one driven by Senior Constable Forte at the front, could continue the chase.
At 2.18pm, Maddison reached the gate to the property where he had been hiding, got out of the car and began firing on Senior Constable Forte’s vehicle behind him.
“As officer Forte urgently reversed, rounds of ammunition were penetrating the vehicle. Unfortunately it ran up an embankment and rolled, trapping both officers inside,” Ms Helsen said.
Later ballistic testing found the police vehicle was hit by 27 bullets, six of which entered the cabin.
Police officers who were following requested urgent assistance and, under fire from Maddison, helped Senior Constable Nielsen and Senior Constable Forte from the car, when it was discovered Senior Constable Forte had been shot.
He was taken to a Queensland Ambulance Service staging area nearby but was declared deceased a short time later.
An autopsy report showed Senior Constable Forte had been struck by bullets repeatedly across his body, including the right forearm, which Ms Helsen said caused “extensive haemorrhage” and his death within minutes.
Police briefly lost track of Maddison before airborne PolAir officers found him holed up in his cabin. During a 20-hour siege, police urged him to surrender 85 times.
Maddison fired at police and PolAir more than 20 times, eventually trying to escape while still firing. Specialist police returned fire, killing him.
The inquest is expected to investigate police operations and policies, the interactions police had with Maddison leading up to the siege, management of the siege and the adequacy of internal investigations and their recommendation.
It will also investigate the lack of information shared between Gatton and Toowoomba police about the Gatton investigation into reports of gunfire.
Ms Helsen recommended the inquests be heard jointly in two tranches to cover the evidence, with 25 witnesses expected to be called.
Mr Ryan agreed to reconsider a planned November inquest, after lawyers for Senior Constable Forte’s widow Susan said they had not had enough time to read through the 19,700-page brief of evidence.
Maddison’s family told the court they did not intend to participate in the inquest process.
A date for the inquest is yet to be finalised.
Lucy is the urban affairs reporter for the Brisbane Times, with a special interest in Brisbane City Council.