Alva Beach witness excused from giving evidence

 

The Supreme Court has upheld a coroner's decision to excuse Dean Webber from giving oral evidence at the inquest into the deaths of Tom Davy and Corey Christensen at Alva Beach.

Mr Webber stabbed Mr Davy and Mr Christensen to death during an altercation at his North Queensland home in 2018.

Mr Webber, who was only 19 at the time, had been excused from giving verbal evidence during the coronial inquest into the deaths after his lawyers argued he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and would struggle under examination.

Dean Webber won’t have to give oral evidence at the Alva Beach inquest.
Dean Webber won’t have to give oral evidence at the Alva Beach inquest.

But the families of Mr Davy and Mr Christensen challenged the coroner's decision, saying they desperately wanted answers about the circumstances of the tragedy.

After a hearing of the matter in February, Acting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Rafter this morning handed down his decision to dismiss the judicial review.

Mr Webber, who claimed self-defence, has never been criminally charged over the October 1, 2018 fatal stabbings and he has never made a written statement about it.

Mr Davy and Mr Christensen were stabbed after they went to the home of Mr Webber, then 19, looking for Candice Locke, who had arrived injured on the teenager's doorstep.

Police photos used in court of Dean Webber after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Picture: Qld Police
Police photos used in court of Dean Webber after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Picture: Qld Police

The strange circumstances surrounding the stabbings are being examined as part of an ongoing inquest.

At the Supreme Court hearing in February Barrister Mark Plunkett said by being confined to written examination of the witness, lawyers for the next-of-kin were being denied the right to properly cross-examine him.

He submitted that the Deputy State Coroner did not have the power under the Coroner's Act to make the order.

"It is impossible to test veracity or credit by means of sterile questions and answers in writing,'' Mr Plunkett said.

He said it was very unusual that a person who admitted to killing two men was not going to be cross-examined.

Originally published as Alva Beach witness excused from giving evidence


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