Elderly man's lonely death in a shopping centre stairway
Bernard Gore's family has wept as a NSW inquest heard of the discovery of his body in a fire stairwell at a Sydney shopping centre, three weeks after he disappeared.
Mr Gore's family reported him missing to police on January 6, 2017, after he failed to meet his wife of 50 years, Angela, as planned outside Woolworths at Westfield Bondi Junction.
The 71-year-old Tasmania, who had a minor cognitive impairment, was visiting relatives nearby the centre and had walked to the shopping centre.
His body was found in the stairwell by a maintenance worker on January 27.
In their search for Mr Gore, security officers and police only reviewed CCTV from certain Westfield pedestrian entrances and the area surrounding Woolworths, leading them to believe he never arrived.
The last CCTV videos recorded of Mr Gore entailing his entry to Westfield, his walk through the shopping centre and the moment he paused and turned into the fire stairwell were not examined by searchers.
The door through which Mr Gore entered could not be opened from the inside and while there was an exit down stairs and through a corridor, Mr Gore had not found it in time.
The adequacy of the review of CCTV by police and security officers, their physical search for Mr Gore at Westfield and the signage pointing to the exit in the stairwell are among the issues being examined.
The inquest, before deputy state coroner Derek Lee, began on Monday in the NSW Coroner's Court at Lidcombe.