Public Hearing 3: 7 and 8 February 2023

On 7 and 8 February 2023, Counsel Assisting will present, in public proceedings of the Inquiry, the first seven of what will in due course be a number of documentary tenders in respect of specific individual cases.

Under the Terms of Reference, the Special Commission is required:

  • by category A, to inquire into those of the deaths considered by the NSW Police Force in Strike Force Parrabell which were potentially motivated by gay hate bias and which remain unsolved; and
  • by category B, to inquire into all unsolved deaths between 1970 and 2010 (whether considered by Strike force Parrabell or not) which are suspected hate crime deaths where the victim was a member of the LGBTIQ community.

The number of deaths falling within the scope of categories A and/or B is likely to be between 25 and 35.

In some of those cases, the ways in which the Special Commission is carrying out its inquiries include the holding of public and/or private hearings, at which witnesses have given or will give oral evidence.

In other cases, for various reasons which will be outlined in submissions, hearings of that kind will not be held. Rather, a comprehensive set of the evidentiary material relevant to those cases will be assembled and tendered, in public proceedings of the Inquiry, accompanied by written and oral submissions by Counsel Assisting. That material will include:

  • documents relating to the circumstances of the death itself;
  • documents relating to previous investigations of that death, whether by the Police or the Coroner;
  • documents relating to the nature and extent of the investigative and other steps which have been taken by this Inquiry in relation to that death, and the results and conclusions flowing from the completion of those steps;
  • any statement which a family member may choose to make to the Inquiry.

The submissions of Counsel Assisting will include recommendations as to the findings which the Commissioner should make as to the manner and cause of death in each case.

The seven cases which will be the subject of the first of these public proceedings on 7 and 8 February are:

  1. John Hughes
  2. Graham Paynter
  3. Russell Payne
  4. William Dutfield
  5. David Lloyd-Williams
  6. Andrew Currie
  7. Brian Walker

These public proceedings will be conducted over two days, commencing at 10am on 7 February 2023 at the Chief Secretary’s Building, Level 2, 121 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The proceedings are open to the public and will be livestreamed via the Inquiry’s website.

The Honourable Justice John Sackar will preside at the hearing. Counsel Assisting the Inquiry will be Peter Gray SC, Christine Melis, William de Mars and Kathleen Heath.

Any person or organisation with a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of this hearing, as outlined in Practice Guideline 1 [PDF, 176 KB], is able to make an application for authorisation to appear by 5pm on Tuesday, 31 January 2023.

Journalists wishing to cover the hearing should notify the Inquiry’s media team to ensure access to the media room and/or relevant information including schedules and transcripts.

Further individual cases will be the subject of public proceedings of this kind in the coming months. Notification of such proceedings will be provided on the website.

All inquiries regarding this hearing should be directed to contact@specialcommission.nsw.gov.au.

Video

Written Submissions

Exhibits

Exhibit-008

Exhibit-009

Exhibit-010

Exhibit-011

Exhibit-012

Exhibit-013

Exhibit-015