Lynette Daley's mother Thelma Davis, right, hugs her sister Denise Purcell outside Grafton Local Court.
Lynette Daley's mother Thelma Davis, right, hugs her sister Denise Purcell outside Grafton Local Court. Adam Hourigan

Lynette Daley trial will help set her spirit free say family

DESPITE the community anger at the decision to grant bail to the men accused of causing Lynette Daley's death, it is important the procedure has begun says a member of the family.

Ms Daley's aunt, Denise Purcell, who worked for three years at Grafton and Maclean courts as the Aboriginal client service specialist, experienced that anger first hand at Grafton on Tuesday, when a local court magistrate granted bail to the men accused of being responsible for her death, Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris.

The appearance of the pair in court on charges including manslaughter and accessory after the fact to manslaughter, took five years of community and media campaigning.

Ms Daley's body was found at 10 Mile Beach at Iluka on January 27, 2011. A coroner found she had died from injuries inflected on her during a violent sexual act.

Despite police charges and a recommendation from the coroner to prosecute the pair, the NSW DPP refused to bring the case to trial.

That changed in May this year when current affairs program Four Corners revealed the extent of the evidence against the two men and the events that led to her death.

A mixture of community, media and political pressure led to a judicial review of the case and the decision to bring the men to trial.

Ms Purcell said the family and local Aboriginal community were not happy with the pair's bail hearing.

"It was disgusting," Ms Purcell said. "Not imposing stricter bail conditions was wrong."

Ms Purcell also said the suppression of the accuseds' addresses for their safety rankled with the family.

"They didn't care about Lynette's safety, I thought it was wrong," she said.

That anger, added to the resentment of taking so long to bring Attwater and Maris to trial, may have been the flashpoint for the violence that erupted in the street outside Grafton Court on Tuesday.

Ms Purcell, whose last memory of Lynette was seeing her leave home on the morning before she died, said the trial would help lift guilt some members of the family felt about Ms Daley's death.

"Lynette lived with me for more than 10 years and I saw her on the morning that this happened," she said.

"I've carried this guilt around with me ever since, that I didn't do more to help her that day.

"In fact just about everyone in the family carries some guilt that they didn't do more to help her."

Ms Purcell believes the trial of Attwater and Maris will help the family deal with those feelings.

"And it will finally let Lynette's spirit be set free."



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