Families upset as coroner excuses Webber from standing

 The legal teams for the Davy and Christensen families have indicated they will submit an application to the Supreme Court to review the coroner's decision for Dean Webber to not take the stand and give verbal evidence.

Chris Minnery and James Godbolt adjourned the court immediately after Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley made the decision to excuse Mr Webber from giving verbal evidence, ushering their clients out of the court to see what they wanted to do.

Mr Minnery made his submission first, saying he intended to submit a review of the decision and asked Ms Bentley whether she wanted to adjourn the inquest pending the decision, or keep going with evidence.

Mr Godbolt held a similar view, but wanted to continue with evidence.

It was decided that the inquest will continue this week, and Mr Webber will still give evidence in writing.

 

EARLIER 2PM: The man who killed two people in a stabbing at Alva Beach will not take the stand this week, after a coroner ruled he be excused from giving verbal evidence because of his mental state.

Dean Webber's doctor, Michael Likely, said his patient stopped visiting the home after the dates for the inquest were announced, and had formed PTSD as part of the coronial investigation into the deaths of Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37.

This evidence was revealed after Mr Webber's barrister, Harvey Walters, applied for his client to be medically dismissed from giving evidence at the inquest this week.

Despite his attempts, the Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley this afternoon refused this application, but ordered he give evidence in writing.

QLD Police photos used in court of Dean Webber 19yrs (at the time), after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37, were killed on October 1, 2018 after being fatally stabbed at Mr Webber’s home at Alva Beach, near Ayr - Photo Supplied QLD Police
QLD Police photos used in court of Dean Webber 19yrs (at the time), after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37, were killed on October 1, 2018 after being fatally stabbed at Mr Webber’s home at Alva Beach, near Ayr - Photo Supplied QLD Police

She ordered that he be excused from giving evidence in person, and asked the parties provide Mr Webber with written questions that he can answer in a written format.

He must provide a response within 72 hours.

The families of both Mr Davy and Mr Christensen were visibly upset at court after the coroner's ruling.

Dr Likely, who mainly treats veterans with severe PTSD, said forcing Mr Webber to give evidence would induce "re-traumatisation" and would be "extremely difficult to treat".

"The entire courtroom would be extremely overwhelming for Mr Webber… extremely detrimental for his health if he's asked to recount the event of the night once again," Dr Likely said.

Mr Walters also said the Mr Webber tried to go back to the home to stay overnight, but when it got dark he was triggered and couldn't stay.

QLD Police photos used in court of Dean Webber 19yrs (at the time), after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37, were killed on October 1, 2018 after being fatally stabbed at Mr Webber’s home at Alva Beach, near Ayr - Photo Supplied QLD Police
QLD Police photos used in court of Dean Webber 19yrs (at the time), after the fatal stabbing at Alva Beach in 2018. Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37, were killed on October 1, 2018 after being fatally stabbed at Mr Webber’s home at Alva Beach, near Ayr - Photo Supplied QLD Police

Under cross-examination by Justin Greggery QC, who is representing Louis Bengoa, he raised the point that Mr Webber had been seen at the home most weekends, as stated in Jaye Christensen's evidence on Monday.

Mr Greggery also said that Mr Webber held a party at the home on Australia Day this year, and suggested that Dr Likely "assumed" truth about some of what Mr Webber told him about his mental health struggles.

He said Mr Webber was the most crucial witness, and "it would not be in the interest of justice" if he didn't give evidence.

Ms Bentley took into account a number of recommendations made by Dr Likely when ordering that Mr Webber would give evidence under the careful circumstances.

 

Originally published as Families upset as coroner excuses Webber from standing


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