Coroner hints at timing for inquest

 

AN INQUEST into Alva Beach's double fatal stabbing nightmare is at least another year away, the coroner says.

Alva Beach resident Dean Webber, 20, was deemed by police to have acted in self-defence when he picked up a knife to protect himself and a drunk Candice Locke, 30, when three men stormed his home in the dead of night on September 30.

Ms Locke's boyfriend Thomas Davy, 27, and local father-of-three Corey Christensen, 37, died of knife wounds after a brief melee inside the darkened home at the sleepy central Queensland seaside fishing hamlet.

Almost a year on from the ill-fated NRL grand final night tragedy, family and civic leaders have urged the police investigation and inquest be fast-tracked.

Northern coroner Nerida Wilson told The Courier-Mail a number of factors put the Alva Beach investigation in the category of a "likely inquest".

Clockwise from top left, Candice Locke, Thomas Davy, Dean Webber and Corey Christensen
Clockwise from top left, Candice Locke, Thomas Davy, Dean Webber and Corey Christensen

But until she had the police brief of evidence, forensics and all other reports, she was unable to make any decision on the timing.

"Whilst we appreciate some matters attract more public interest and attention than others, we remain sensitive and heed the needs of all families in the coronial system,'' Ms Wilson said.

"Until the coroner is in possession of all material and reports (which she currently is not), it is difficult to assess the issues, the number of witnesses, and the length of time required for inquest.

"Next of kin views will also be taken into account when considering an inquest.

"Noting the northern coroner's current inquest schedule for 2020, the earliest (the Alva Beach inquest) could occur is in the second half of next year.

"Resourcing is a significant factor as inquests are often complex and take significant time to prepare."



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