Boyfriend saw high-spirited Kate shot in the back of head at point-blank range

from page 5 of The Sydney Morning Herald, May 2, 1996

by John Townsend

  Kate Scott was in high spirits on the day she died.
  The 21-year-old from Perth was due to start a permanent job at a West Australian goldmine the next day and had also celebrated a friend's wedding in Hobart the night before. Her grandmother had given her the air ticket to the wedding for her 21st birthday last December.
  But the joy of life ahead ended without warning when a bullet struck her in the back of the head from point-blank range as she ate at the Broad Arrow restaurant.
  Her boyfriend, Mr Mick Sargent, was sitting opposite her and watched in horror as he suddenly approached their table and pointed a high-powered rifle at them. As the gunman pulled the trigger, Mr Sargent lunged to the side. He was lucky. The bullet creased his scalp and left a slight wound. A centimetre lower and he would have been the first of 35 victims.
  But as he tumbled to the ground, he saw the gunman fire at Kate from point-blank range. The other two people at the table were also uninjured, and among the few who escaped the carnage in the cafe.
  Kate's mother, Mrs Wendy Scott, said the pair had hired a car for the day and had gone to look at Port Arthur, planning to fly home that afternoon.
  Their bags were packed and they were ready for the hour-long drive to Hobart after they finished lunch when the gunman struck.
  About 30 hours later, Mrs Scott was at home with her husband, Miles, in Watheroo, 211 kilometres north of Perth, when they were told that the oldest of their five children was dead.
  "You have to bear up and we are doing our best but this is a hard time," she said. "The kids have been excellent and having a close-knit family helps but nothing can change what has happened."
  Miles Scott's brother Bill, also a farmer in the district, said the family had qualms for Kate's safety when the first news of the massacre came out. But they were eased when report after report said no-one from Western Australia had been killed.
  It was a bombshell when police officers arrived at the Scott farm on Monday night to give them the terrible news.
  Mr Scott said it must have been even harder for Mr Sargent, who was asked not to tell the Scotts until police were ready to release the news the day after she died.
  "It was a terrible shock and made even more so because bit was so senseless," he said.
  "Kate was such a lovely girl. She was lively and bubbly, and no-one ever said a bad word about her or heard her say a bad word about anyone else. She was on top of the world and everything was going so well for her."
  Mrs Scott said Kate was due to start a permanent job at Gidgee goldmine near Meekatharra when she returned from a few days' holiday in Tasmania.
  She said she had dinner with Kate on Monday night, when her daughter talked of how delighted she was to be going to Tasmania and to have the job.

[image: "Victim Kate Scott, 21: "On top of the world and everything was going so well for her."" (14x19) ]

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