End of Week Three of Inquest

Today marked the end of the 3rd week of the Inquest. There is evidence to be heard next week and then in October, after which, upon consideration of submissions, the Coroner will hand down his finding.

Inquest Details

The Inquest has officially started today and is scheduled to run for three weeks, from the 5th until the 23rd of August, at the Coroners Court of Victoria. The court typically convenes from 10am until 4pm, with a break from 1pm until 2.30pm.

The court will not convene this Wednesday or Thursday (the 7th and 8th of August).

The Coroners Court of Victoria is located at Level 11, 222 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria.

Fundraising Campaign to Support the Inquest

We have set up a campaign to help us raise the money to cover the cost of having legal representation at the inquest. A donation as small as $5.00 will help.

You can find more details on the Support the Inquest page.

We are enormously grateful for all the love and support we have received from everyone since we lost Phoebe in December 2010. Sadly, there are still many questions surrounding her death. We hope the inquest will allow us to find the answers.

Inquest Details

A Directions hearing was held in the Coroners Court on the 1st of May 2013. A witness list was established and a date was confirmed for the Inquest. It will begin on the 5th of August 2013 and is predicted to run for three weeks. Twenty seven witnesses will be called.

The Coroner WILL Hold An Inquest

We have received notification from the Coroner that, “Having considered all the material which currently forms part of the brief as well as written submissions he has decided to exercise his discretion under section 52(1) of the Act and hold an inquest as part of his investigation”

The purpose of the inquest is to establish the findings required by section 67 of the Act. Which include the cause of death and the circumstances in which the death occurred.

The inquest does not operate as a criminal trial and a coroner is prohibited under section 69(1) of the Act from including in a finding or comment, any statement that a person is or may be guilty of an offence (other than a comment of a statement relating to a notification to the Director of Public Prosecutions)

*note: A coroner my hold an inquest into any death they are investigating pursuant to section 52(1) of the Coroners Act 2008 (the Act). This is referred to as a discretionary inquest. Thae Act also outlines circumstances where an inquest must be conducted, such as where the coroner suspects the death was the result of homicide [section 52(2)(a)]. this is referred to as a mandatory inquest.

We have been advised that a directions hearing will be convened on the 1st of May and that time has been set aside in August for the inquest.

On behalf of our family, I would like to take this opportunity, once again, to thank you all for your overwhelming support for us, in our search for the truth of what happened to Phoebe. This is a further step towards unravelling the mystery of her death. We will keep you updated on any further information.

Sincerely,

Natalie Handsjuk (Phoebe’s Mother)