Attempt to stop inquest into wife's death refused

A GLADSTONE man's attempt to have a coronial inquest into his wife's death stopped in the courts has been refused.

Tracy Ann Beale died on January 21, 2013. Her husband James Andrew Beale was accused of her manslaughter before the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the charges in April 2014.

In May 2016 Coroner David O'Connell decided to hold an inquest into Mrs Beale's death.

But Mr Beale took the matter to Brisbane Supreme Court to attempt to stop the inquest.

Mr Beale told the court all the evidence of how his wife died was presented at earlier court hearings.

Mr Beale argued Mr O'Connell had failed to take into account evidence given in the earlier hearings and he was denied natural justice when not given a chance to tell the coroner why an inquest should not be held.

But, in a judgment published on Monday, Justice David Jackson dismissed Mr Beale's arguments.

He found the Coroner had acted within the law when establishing the inquest.

"Although (Mr Beale's) challenge is based on the ground that the decision to hold the inquest was unreasonable, it also amounts to a challenge to the necessary jurisdictional condition that (Mr O'Connell) was satisfied it was in the public interest to hold an inquest," Justice Jackson said.

"In my view, (Mr O'Connell) was not obliged to afford the applicant an opportunity to be heard by way of natural justice before deciding to exercise the power to hold an inquest."

The inquest into Mrs Beale's death will be held at a date to be fixed.


Topics:  coronial inquest death review supreme court

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