LYNETTE DALEY VERDICT: Vindication, relief for family
AFTER listening to every harrowing detail in the trial of the two men who sexually assaulted her before her death, the family of Lynette Daley expressed delight and relief at the guilty verdicts for the pair.
A Supreme Court jury in Coffs Harbour on Wednesday took just 32 minutes to find Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris guilty of charges which followed Ms Daley's death on a beach near Iluka on January 27, 2011.
The jury found Attwater guilty of manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault, and Maris guilty of aggravated sexual assault and hindering the discovery of evidence.
Outside the courthouse the feelings of the Daley family and their friends were there for all to see as they cried, hugged and comforted each other.
"I feel very, very, very relieved," Ms Daley's father, Hector Daley, told media outside the court. "They're gone. We'll be back here on the third of November for the sentencing."
Ms Daley's stepfather, Gordon Davis, took on the role of family spokesperson.
"I'm happy. Yeah, it was what we wanted," Mr Davis said on the steps courthouse steps. "It was what we wished for."
Mr Davis said hearing the guilty verdict read out in court was "great".
"I was choked. Still am," he said. It's so great to hear those words, guilty, guilty, because the bastards are guilty."
Mr Davis was generous in his thanks for the DPP and police, particularly Grafton Detective Sergeant Graham Burke.
"They were magic," he said. "I can't thank them enough."
But he singled out Det Burke for special thanks.
"Burkie, he's phenomenal ... he never gave up," Mr Davis said.
"He's one of the best police. He's what you call a good policeman."
He also said ABC current affairs program Four Corners and its producer Caro Meldrum-Hannah had also been instrumental in bringing the case to trial.
"Only for her taking the story and running with it, this wouldn't have happened," he said.
Mr Davis said the six-and- a-half-year battle to get the case to court had taken a toll on the family.
"There's been testing times, we thought we wouldn't get anywhere," Mr Davis said.
"But we never gave up. We just pushed and pushed and kept prodding and treading around. And it worked in the end."
Mr Davis said the verdict was a vindication for the family and investigating police in the face of the initial reluctance of the DPP to prosecute the case.
"We feel vindicated," he said.
"In the end justice won and that's all there is.
"They (Attwater and Maris) deserve what they get and there's justice for Lynette after all. And her kids."
Mr Davis said he was sure his stepdaughter would be proud of the the family's effort to ensure she received justice.
"She'd be doing cartwheels for sure," he said.
Attwater and Maris will be in court again on November 3 for sentencing.