Welcome news for disillusioned family
THE family of murdered woman Shandee Blackburn has welcomed a decision to hold an inquest into her death, saying a trial held last year left them further traumatised and disillusioned with the justice system.
Shandee, 23, was murdered in 2013, stabbed more than 20 times as she walked home from work in Mackay.
Eighteen months later, police charged her former boyfriend John Peros with her murder.
A trial last year was told Peros had written a list titled "30 Things I Don't Like About Shandee" following their 2012 breakup, that included complaints of her denying him sex and times he believed she had flirted with other men.
The court heard the former amateur boxer was in the vicinity of Boddington St, where Shandee was attacked and killed, and had spoken about stabbing her during an Australia Day gathering days earlier.
Peros' lawyers argued the real killer was another man who'd killed Shandee in an ice-fuelled robbery gone wrong. Peros was found not guilty.
Shandee's family say they want her death examined by a coroner, with "all the available evidence" presented to an inquest.
"I think for us, the important thing is to have the truth out there," Shandee's mother Vicki said.
"The only people who benefit by hiding the truth are the people who are guilty.
"How can you expect juries to make an informed decision when all the available evidence isn't shown to them?"
Central Coroner David O'Connell wrote to Vicki in late November, but she only received the letter yesterday. An inquest will be held next June and July.
"I advise that after due consideration, I am satisfied … that it is in the public interest that an inquest be held into the reportable death of your daughter," he wrote.
Vicki said she'd been so disillusioned with last year's trial she'd wanted to stop attending.
"It's just inconceivable that this could happen," she said.
"If all the evidence was known, I feel there would be no doubt (as to who killed Shandee).
"I just think of all the other people out there that this has happened to, all the lives crippled because a loved one was taken from them. Whole families and communities are affected. And we're just caught in it because it has never been resolved. For anyone to move on with their lives after that is virtually impossible."