Judge grants family request in killing inquest
The families of two men killed at Alva Beach have won a temporary pause against a decision preventing the man who stabbed them from being cross examined at an inquest.
But a final ruling on whether key witness Dean Webber has to give evidence in person is unlikely to be decided until next year.
Thomas Davy, 27 and Corey Christensen, 37, were fatally stabbed by Mr Webber, then 19, after they came into his Alva Beach home south of Townsville looking for injured woman Candice Locke, who was hiding inside, on October 1, 2018.
Mr Webber was never charged over the incident citing self defence.
The strange circumstances surrounding the fatal stabbing of Mr Davy, who was Ms Locke's boyfriend at the time, and Mr Christensen are part of an ongoing inquest in Cairns.
Earlier this month, Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley ruled Mr Webber would only be required to give evidence in writing about his role in the deaths due to his mental state.
Mr Webber's lawyers have told the inquest he suffers from PTSD over the incident.
However the dead men's families want Mr Webber to be cross-examined and are fighting to overturn that decision.
Justice Susan Brown today made an order staying Ms Bentley's decision until the Supreme Court decides how Mr Webber is to give evidence.
That is unlikely to be determined until next year.
Lawyer Rebecca Fogerty, acting for Mr Davy's family, said the stay would also prevent Mr Webber having to answer questions twice if he is ultimately ordered to give evidence in person.
"It's an important consideration that if the witness is required to give evidence in person, that he does not have to go through that process anymore than he absolutely needs to," she said outside Brisbane's Supreme Court today.
"This is of course a tragic situation for everybody involved and we are very conscious of the fact that for Mr Webber the process of giving evidence will be a very distressing one."
In deciding whether Mr Webber needs to give evidence in person, Ms Fogerty said the Supreme Court would examine provision of the Coroners Act including the "legal meaning of the word examination"
"Whether or not that extends to giving answers in writing, and whether or not it extends to the process of cross examination, which is where a witness is questioned by legal representatives," she said.
Originally published as Judge grants family request in Alva Beach inquest