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Wallaces seek new lawyer for inquest

2 September 2003

An inquest into the death of police shooting victim Steven Wallace has been delayed while his family finds a new lawyer to represent it at the coroner's hearing.

Mr Wallace's mother, Raewyn, has confirmed that Wanganui QC John Rowan no longer acts for the family, and they are looking for a new lawyer. She would not say why the change was taking place. She said yesterday that coroner Gordon Matenga had delayed setting a date for the inquest in the meantime.

Steven Wallace, 23, was shot on April 30, 2000. He had smashed shop windows with a softball bat and golf club. Constable Keith Abbott said he shot Mr Wallace in self defence and a Wellington jury found him not guilty.

The Wallace family took the private prosecution after police refused to charge Mr Abbott.

The family went on to press for an inquest and Mr Matenga agreed, on limited terms. He will examine police policy and procedure as applied to general staff dealing with violent offenders in circumstances like those of Mr Wallace, and look at the first aid given to Mr Wallace.

The Dominion Post
© Fairfax New Zealand Limited 2004

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