Wanted fugitive Rodney Clavell was given a lift by police when his car broke down, an inquest has heard.
Officers in South Australia have been accused of missing precious chances to arrest him before an 12-hour stand off at a brothel in Adelaide, which ended with Clavell dying.
An inquest opened in his death in the state capital on Friday.
Rodney Clavell was the most wanted man in South Australia when he died following a police stand off outside an Adelaide brothel
The coroner was told about one occasion when a police officer picked up Mr Clavell, unaware he was the most wanted man in the state.
Questions are being asked about the overall performance of the police force and how the operation led to the stand-off in June 2014, Nine reports.
Senior police officers are being quizzed over the reasons for why Clavell’s status was raised to the Serious Crimes Task Force and it becoming a high-profile and public appeal.
Police said throughout the appeal through media releases that Clavell was high risk and had previously shot at police.
Tough questions have been raised about the steps police took during the lead up to the stand off in June 2014
But it was alleged by counsel assisting Ahura Kalali that incorrect information had been released including the claims about Clavell shooting at police.
Mr Kalali also questioned why his pursuit was so intense when warrants for his arrest when his alleged offences were only linked to car thefts and an unlawful possession of a firearm.
‘While Holden Hill police were making efforts to find Mr Clavell, good old-fashioned community policing had Mr Clavell in the back of a police car,’ Mr Kalali said.
‘There’s no explanation as to why Rodney Clavell was deserving of such a media campaign and why this matter was to be handled by Serious and Organised Crime.’
The inquest is set to investigate further aspects of the investigation, the police conduct and whether the death of Mr Clavell – a 46-year-old father of 11 – could have been avoided.
Detective Inspector John Gerlach defended the decisions as an inquest into Clavell’s death opened in Adelaide on Friday
His family were in court before to hear details and cases put forward including from the South Australia Police detective in charge of the operation preceding Mr Clavell’s death.
Detective Inspector John Gerlach defended the decisions to list Mr Clavell as being highly dangerous and a risk to the public and surround him at the brothel.
He said Clavell’s previous violence and unpredictability made him a ‘high-risk offender’, the court was told.
The inquest will continue.