DPP apologises for delay in prosecution
THE Director of Public Prosecutions Llyod Babb SC publicly apologised for the delay in prosecuting the two men responsible for the manslaughter of Lynette Daley.
Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris were on Friday sentenced in the Supreme Court in Coffs Harbour.
Attwater was jailed for 19 years with a non-parole period of 14 years, three months for the drunken sexual assault of Ms Daley on Australia Day 2011 at Iluka's Ten Mile Beach.
While Maris was jailed for nine years with a minimum of six years, nine months to be spent behind bars for aggravated sexual assault and hindering the discovery of evidence.
"The decision not to proceed with the prosecution of Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris in 2012 and the decision not to recommence proceedings against them in 2015 (following the coronial inquest into Lynette Daley's death) were independently reviewed by me in 2016. I also briefed independent counsel to provide me with advice,” Mr Babb said in a statement.
"I determined that there was a reasonable prospect of conviction and directed that the matter proceed to trial. In order to limit further delay, I directed that leave be sought for the proceedings to be brought in the Supreme Court without committal proceedings in the Local Court.
"The question of whether there are reasonable prospects of conviction is a predictive exercise and one about which reasonable minds can differ. Some of the evidence that informed the earlier decisions not to proceed with the prosecution was different to the evidence that was before the jury. Nonetheless, I sincerely regret my Office's involvement in the delay.
"I wrote to Ms Daley's family offering my apology on 22 June 2016 and 11 September 2017. On both occasions, I offered to meet with the family if they wished to do so.
"The case has now proceeded through the criminal justice system. Today (on Friday), I publicly apologise to Ms Daley's family and the community for that delay.”
Ms Daley died of injuries sustained during a violent sex act.
Attwater and Maris were found guilty of their crimes in September, when the jury took just 32 minutes to make its decision.