Brett Forte’s killer was ‘paranoid’ and had history of threatening police

New details into the “paranoid” psyche of slain cop-killer Ricky Maddison have today been put under the spotlight.

Speaking at the second day of an inquest into events that led to Senior Constable Brett Forte’s shooting death, Maddison’s friend Adam Byatt gave a peek into his friend’s mind.

Byatt, a convicted drug trafficker himself, said Maddison hated police and was convinced a husband and wife in the Queensland Police Force had it in for him – those being Brett and Susan Forte.
Rick Maddison died in a hail of bullets after killing police officer Brett Forte. (9News)

Byatt said Maddison was paranoid the couple was following him, insisting that he should follow them instead.

Byatt would often shoot and drink at Maddison’s bushland hideout near Wallers Road outside Toowoomba, with locals often complaining about the sound of automatic gunfire coming from the property.

It was the same property Maddison lured and killed Senior Constable Forte at in May 2017 before holing himself up for 20 hours and being shot dead by police.

Brett Forte inquest
Senior Constable Brett Forte was shot dead by Ricky Maddison in May 2017. (Nine)
The coronial inquest will not proceed on Wednesday following an attempt to temporarily remove Officer Forte's widow Susan from the courtroom.
The coronial inquest will not proceed on Wednesday following an attempt to temporarily remove Brett Forte’s widow Susan from the courtroom. (Toby Crockford)

One of the reasons for the two-week inquest is to investigate if police could have done things differently in the lead up to Senior Constable Forte and Maddison’s deaths.

The inquest heard that weeks before the shootout, fellow officer Andre Thaler had been leading the search for Maddison, believing the wanted man was armed and dangerous enough that he carried his own rifle during the search.

Maddison had a history of threatening police, previously making threats to ambush and shoot another police officer about 10 years before Senior Constable Forte’s death.

Brett Forte inquest
Ricky Maddison was paranoid and hated police, a friend has told an inquest. (Nine)

The coronial inquest will not proceed tomorrow due to last-minute legal action launched by lawyers representing the police officers involved in the ordeal, following an attempt to remove Ms Forte from the courtroom temporarily.

State Coroner Terry Ryan denied the first attempt before police lawyers made a second application to the court requesting Ms Forte write a new statement for the inquest.

Witnesses who were due to give evidence this afternoon and tomorrow will now be called to testify on Thursday.

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