Royal Commission demanded for 'murdered innocent children'
THE FAMILIES of three children murdered in Bowraville 22 years ago have called for a Royal Commission into the circumstances surrounding their deaths and the subsequent handling of the case.
The deaths of Colleen Walker-Craig, Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux, have been the subject of a number of hearings and failed murder trials.
In June 2011, a submission was received by the NSW Attorney-General, requesting that he exercise his power under Section 115 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 and submit an application to the Court of Criminal Appeal for the retrial of the persons acquitted of the murders of Evelyn and Clinton and an Ex-Officio Indictment for the murder of Colleen.
Yesterday, the surviving families received advice from the Office of the NSW Attorney-General via Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner that a view had been formed there is not enough fresh and compelling evidence to proceed with these cases.
Speedy-Duroux family spokesperson, Leonie Duroux, told The Coffs Coast Advocate today this latest development added another chapter to the frustration felt by the entire community.
"At this stage we do not believe that the officer in charge (of the investigation) has been informed officially, nor have our legal representatives," she said.
"We were informed by Mr Stoner that a media article was due for release on the weekend."
While the family claim the Stoner statement was only released at 4.45pm Friday, both News Ltd and Fairfax Media were able to prepare major stories on the decision which were overnight published extensively in newspapers and online.
"Therefore we have very good reason to believe that the media were advised of the decision prior to the families receiving the information," Ms Duroux said.
"We feel strongly that this should have been a time for compassion, not spin doctoring."
Ms Duroux said that evidence had been reviewed by a QC, legal experts from one of the biggest law firms in Australia and a leading Professor of Law and her expert team.
"For 15 years the matter has been investigated by a very experienced homicide detective," she said.
"All of the expert opinions we have obtained clearly shows if all three cases were tried together, there would be a reasonable chance of conviction.
"We are disheartened that after 18 months of consideration we have been served with another shocking conclusion.
"After 18 months of waiting we feel that we are being treated with the same contempt that we were treated with 22 years ago.
"We don't want special treatment, we want equal treatment.
"If the evidence presented was not deemed as 'fresh and compelling' then it must lend itself to the failings of the police investigation."
Despite the family's frustration at what they see as an absence of justice, they have vowed not to give up fighting for the three "murdered innocent children."
"We are calling on the NSW Government to grant us a Royal Commission.
"Including the original police investigation, the committals, the inquests, the two failed trials and the subsequent total lack of concern shown to the families by the NSW Government."