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JUSTICE FOR LYNETTE: Duo jailed over violent beach death

Hector Daley, Thelma Davis and Gordon Davis outside Coffs Harbour Court House.
Hector Daley, Thelma Davis and Gordon Davis outside Coffs Harbour Court House. Adam Hourigan

THE man who left young mother Lynette Daley to bleed to death on a beach after a violent and drunken sexual assault has been jailed for 19 years with a non-parole period of 14 years 3 months.

Ms Daley's friends and family applauded and cried in the Supreme Court at Coffs Harbour today as Adrian Attwater was jailed by Justice Elizabeth Fullerton.

His former friend Paul Maris was jailed for 9 years with a minimum term of 6 years 9 months.

Family and friends wearing t-shirts saying "Justice for Lynette Daley" hugged each other outside court after the long fight to bring the two men to justice.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton said the circumstances of Ms Daley's manslaughter were "extremely seriousness, reflecting a very high level of moral culpability" and neither of the men had shown remorse or insight into the events.

A jury took just 32 minutes in September to to convict Attwater, 47, and Maris, 43, of the aggravated sexual assault of Ms Daley who was either unconscious or in a state of stupor and could not consent to sex with a blood alcohol level of 0.46.

Attwater was also also convicted of manslaughter and Maris was also convicted of hiding evidence after burning Ms Daley's bloody bra and the blood-soaked mattress from the back of his Toyota troop carrier during the drunken trip to Ten Mile Beach on Australia Day 2011.

The court has heard that Ms Daley's life could have been saved if the men called an ambulance when she began to bleed after violent sex.

Lynette Daley's body was found on January 27, 2011 at 10 Mile Beach north of Iluka. SES volunteers assist police to lift the body of a woman who died on 10 mile beach north of Iluka yesterday morning. Photo: Rodney Stevens/ The Daily Examiner
Lynette Daley's body was found on January 27, 2011 at 10 Mile Beach north of Iluka. SES volunteers assist police to lift the body of a woman who died on 10 mile beach north of Iluka yesterday morning. Photo: Rodney Stevens/ The Daily Examiner Rodney Stevens

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 25 years and the maximum sentence for the offence of aggravated sexual assault with which the two men were convicted is 20 years with a standard non-parole period of 10 years.

Justice Fullerton said she accepted "without reservation" that despite Ms Daley's use of alcohol and her transient lifestyle before her death "she loved her children unconditionally and she maintained a close relationship with all her family, her children in particular."

Mr Babb dropped charges against Attwater and Maris laid by police in the months after her death.

Lynette Daley bled to death after being raped by the two men.
Lynette Daley bled to death after being raped by the two men.
 

Mr Babb again refused to charge the two men despite recommendations by State Coroner Michael Barnes following an inquest into Ms Daley's death in 2014.

It was not until The Daily Telegraph revealed the injustice that an external review by independent counsel Philip Strickland SC led to charges which finally brought the men to justice.

Family members of Lynette Daley wear shirts with
Family members of Lynette Daley wear shirts with "Justice for Lynettte Daley" wait outside Coffs Harbour Court for the sentencing of Paul Maris and Adrian Attwater Adam Hourigan
 

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has already asked Mr Babb to explain why he repeatedly refused to pursue charges but the report has not been made public.

The court had been told that both Maris and Attwater had formed relationships since the brutal attack.

Attwater's girlfriend, Mary Anne Stone, provided a reference for him to the court which described him as a "loving gentle soul" who mowed the lawns and did odd jobs for their disabled neighbours in Moranbah, northern Queensland, where he fled to escape the community outrage after details of their crimes were made public

Topics:  adrian attwater editors picks lynette daley paul maris


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