|| N A T I O N A L
N E W S
S T O R Y |
Anger at delay in Wallace case05 June 2006
The mother of Steven Wallace is demanding an answer
as to why it is taking so long to make a decision in the
inquest into her son's death.
Almost nine months have passed since the
hearing concluded in the New Plymouth Coroner's Court into the
death of Mr Wallace, who was shot by police in Waitara in
The inquest covered only police procedure
applying to general staff dealing with violent offenders, and
first aid care.
Despite the length of time it was taking,
a secretary from the office of Hamilton-based coroner Gordon
Matenga said there was no indication about when a decision
would be released.
That has angered Raewyn Wallace.
"When we wanted an inquest, we wanted a
proper inquest, which we weren't allowed," she said.
"Now, because they haven't got the
answers to this, we just have to sit and wait. It's
Mrs Wallace said the wait had been
frustrating and terrible for her family.
"I don't know of any other people in New
Zealand that have had to wait through all of this. The length
of time and the way they have done everything is just not
"No one should have to wait six years and
still not get the answer to an inquest."
Mr Matenga was unavailable to comment
The lawyer acting for the Wallace family,
Ron Mansfield, of Auckland, said he would not comment on the
He had sought a release time from Mr
Matenga's office last week, but had also been given no
Without the finding from the coroner, the
Police Complaints Authority investigation cannot proceed.
PCA spokesman Judge Ian Borrin, of
Wellington, said it was the authority's practice not to start
any investigation beforehand because it was advantageous to
get all the evidence and findings on the matter before
"It (the inquest) was a very full hearing
and a lot of issues that are of concern to people throughout
this matter did receive discussion in front of the coroner.
For this case we must wait."
Judge Borrin said it would be
inappropriate for him to have any correspondence with Mr
Matenga on the issue.
»SUBSCRIBE TO FREE HEADLINES
»SUBSCRIBE TO ARCHIVESTUFF