‘Wild sex’ led to woman’s death
A WOMAN who bled to death on a beach north of Iluka in 2011 died from massive vaginal trauma inflicted by a man she was camping with, a Coroner's Inquiry has found.
NSW State Coroner Michael Barnes has recommended charges be laid against Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris, who were present at the time of her death.
The woman, given the pseudonym "Norma" out of respect to her family, died painfully at Ten Mile Beach on January 27, 2011.
Mr Attwater was charged with manslaughter and accessory charges were laid against Mr Maris, but both cases were dropped in March this year.
Mr Barnes said they should be reopened in light of the inquiry's findings.
He said there "could be no doubt" Attwater inflicted the injury that caused Norma's death in the back of his troop carrier.
"Mr Attwater initially admitted this activity could be characterised as 'fisting' but later retracted that and claimed to have engaged in more benign, less forceful activity ..." Mr Barnes said.
"Mr Maris continued to claim Mr Attwater had 'fisted' Norma and both men told those first on the scene when Norma collapsed and died the next morning that they had engaged in 'wild sex' the previous evening."
Forensic medicine expert Dr Catherine Lincoln found Norma's vaginal injuries were consistent with the aforementioned act.
"I am inclined to accept as accurate Mr Maris's demonstration of a vigorous punching motion as the most likely explanation for the injuries having been sustained," Mr Barnes said.
Blood samples taken from Norma after her death indicated she was extremely intoxicated, with a blood-alcohol reading of between 0.303% and 0.35%.
Mr Barnes said she was too drunk to give consent to the sexual acts which caused her death and that her lack of resisting should not have been interpreted as consent.
He also found Mr Maris and Mr Attwood conspired to burn a blood-stained mattress and dispose of clothing for fear it would incriminate them.
"Norma did not lead an inspirational life of great achievement, but nor did she do harm to others," Mr Barnes said.
"Indeed, it seems she was far more frequently the victim of mistreatment at the hands of those she should have been protected by.
"She was dearly loved by her family and she returned that affection.
"I know she is sadly missed by her children, her siblings, her parents and her extended family. I offer them all my sincere condolences. The court expresses its contempt and disgust for the callous disregard for her welfare shown by her supposed friends, Messrs Attwater and Maris."
Mr Barnes applauded the tireless efforts of Detective Sergeant Grahame Burkewho led the investigation.
"A less compassionate officer might have concluded that someone who habitually consorted with people such as Messrs Maris and Attwater should have been aware of the risk of being mistreated," he said.
"Sgt Burke did not shirk the burdens of his oath of office by selectively valuing human life: he undertook a thorough and professional investigation."