DALEY TRIAL: Prosecutor says Triple Zero call came too late
A TRIPLE Zero phone call made by manslaughter and rape accused Adrian Attwater has been described in court as "too little too late" and a "panicked response" to the death of Clarence Valley woman Lynette Daley.
"In short, she was bleeding to death," Crown prosecutor Philip Strickland SC told the court during his opening address yesterday.
"She was too intoxicated to do anything about it and Mr Attwater, who caused those injuries, did not do anything about it in a timely matter to help her."
Mr Attwater, described as Ms Daley's on-and-off-again boyfriend, is one of two men charged over the 33-year-old woman's death, which was caused by injuries sustained in a sexual act in the back of a Troop Carrier on Australia Day in 2011.
His friend Paul Maris is facing charges of accessory to manslaughter after the fact and sexual intercourse without consent.
Both Attwater and Maris cut very different figures yesterday from their appearances on the day of Ms Daley's death, as they sat side-by-side in the dock of the Coffs Harbour court room; Attwater sported a bald head while Maris looked visibly older and was wearing reading glasses.
They did not flinch as Mr Strickland showed the jury photos of the crime scene, including blood on an esky, blood in the back of the Troop Carrier where the fateful sexual acts took place, and the indication of blood on the front passenger seat of the vehicle, as well as photos of her body on the beach, close to where Mr Attwater said they had stripped off and gone for a swim shortly before she allegedly collapsed and died on the morning of January 27, 2011.
Mr Strickland said that due to significant blood loss, Mr Attwater must have known before she collapsed that she had suffered a serious injury. He said it would be argued that Ms Daley had not walked to the water on her own, but that Mr Attwater had carried or dragged her.
Addressing the jury, the Crown prosecutor said many aspects of Mr Attwater's accounts to police were lies, including an assertion that after the sex acts, Ms Daley was talking, drinking, laughing and listening to music with him and Mr Maris.
In the first police interview on the morning of Ms Daley's death, Mr Attwater said she was asleep for hours on the mattress in the back of the Troop Carrier that night.
"Mr Attwater's failure to take the steps to preserve Ms Daley's life fell so far short of standard of care a reasonable person would realise that it deserves criminal punishment," Mr Strickland said.
"If Ms Daley had received timely medical attention she would have survived."
Of the charges against Mr Maris, Mr Strickland said the accessory charge related to Mr Maris's burning of a blood soak mattress and at least one article of Ms Daley's clothing, which it will be argued was done with the intent to hinder the discovery of evidence of "Mr Attwater's crime".
In a video recording played of an interview on March 3, 2011, Mr Maris said Ms Daley hadn't said or done anything to indicate consent to sexual acts committed on her by both men, other than moaning "with pleasure".
Mr Maris said he later noticed there was "blood everywhere"; on her leg as well as mattress, sheet, esky but said he thought she was bleeding from her period.
Mr Strickland said Mr Maris later used diesel from his car to light a fire on the beach, and after burning the mattress and clothing, then made attempts to conceal the fire by putting sand on it and driving over it.
"He burnt it because he knew Lynette was dead or dying as a result of the fisting and he wanted to conceal that crime and the blood on the mattress and the bra was evidence of that crime," Mr Strickland said.
Suspect 'didn't know of injury'
THE defence team for Adrian Attwater has denied Lynette Daley's on-off partner had any knowledge of the serious injuries she had sustained until she collapsed in the ocean the next morning.
In his opening address, solicitor for Mr Attwater, Nathan Steel, told the jury the defense's position was that the sexual acts which occurred between the pair on January 26, 2011, were consensual, and it wasn't until Ms Daley collapsed in the ocean he became aware she had a serious injury and needed medical attention.
"From that moment he did everything he could to save her life," Mr Steel said.
It would not be disputed that Mr Attwater's actions led to her injuries, but it would be argued he never meant to hurt her, and didn't realise what he was doing would have caused her serious injury.
"Mr Attwater says the same kind of activity had happened on previous occasions," Mr Steel said.
"He did say she'd bled a bit before but had never been injured or had to go to hospital."
On the issue of consent, Mr Steel said Mr Attwater understood she was consenting because she physically participated, because she "positioned herself when naked on hands and knees in a way which allowed sexual activity to occur".
This is expected to be in direct dispute with the Crown's case, which will argue Ms Daley was incapable of consenting, due to her level of intoxication at the time.
"You will hear evidence she was a seasoned drinker, and whether as a very regular drinker she would have developed a tolerance to alcohol," Mr Steel said.
He said at the time of the sexual act, Mr Attwater noticed Ms Daley was bleeding "a little bit" but she told him "don't worry, it's all right."
"She never said she needed help or complained in any way," he said.
It was also heard Mr Attwater had no knowledge his co-accused Paul Maris was burning a blood-soaked mattress and bra on the beach, because he was in the ocean with Ms Daley at the time.
It was in the water where Attwater said he noticed Ms Daley having a seizure, which "didn't last long but he could see from her face that she wasn't breathing".
Mr Maris's defence lawyer Alex Radojev declined to make an opening address.
Family takes to the stand
MEMBERS of Lynette Daley's family have offered a small glimpse into the life of Lynette Daley prior to her death.
Her stepfather Gordon Davis, 66, was the first witness called by the prosecution in the trial of the two men charged over her death, Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris.
On the witness stand, Mr Davis said he had known Ms Daley, one of five children and a twin sister to Hector Daley, since she was young.
She attended Maclean Public and Cowper Public School, then Maclean High.
Her younger sister Joanne, who took to the stand later, said the family was close growing up and often went on outings to the beach and other places.
Both Mr Davis and Joanne said Ms Daley swam in the river growing up but never liked to swim in the ocean.
"She said was scared of Loch Ness monsters and things that go in there," Joanne said.
From her late teens Ms Daley began to drink heavily, and it was acknowledged by both that she had a drinking problem at the time of her death.
Despite the fact Ms Daley's seven children lived with their grandparents, both Mr Davis and Joanne said she was a good mother who loved and cared for her children.