A coronial inquest into the deaths of two men at Alva Beach, south of Townsville, has heard both men died from knife wounds that pierced their hearts.
- Thomas Davy and Corey Christensen were stabbed to death after breaking into Dean Webber’s home
- The inquest heard Mr Webber will “suffer severe trauma” if he is made to give evidence
- A forensic pathologist told the court both men died from stab wounds to the heart
Thomas Davy, 27, and Corey Christensen, 37, died after breaking into the home of Dean Webber on October 1, 2018.
Mr Webber was not charged after police ruled he acted in self-defence.
Earlier, the court heard the altercation broke out after the men knocked on Mr Webber’s door in search of Candice Locke who had sought refuge in his home shortly after midnight.
A coronial inquest into the deaths of Mr Davy and Mr Christensen is examining why no one was ever charged, and the emergency response to the incident by Queensland Police and Ambulance Services.
Giving evidence on Thursday, forensic pathologist Paull Botterill told the inquest both men died from stab wounds inflicted by a narrow-bladed knife.
He told the court Mr Christensen died from a single stab wound to the left side of his chest that penetrated more than seven centimetres into his body and pierced his heart wall.
“Without immediate surgical intervention, it would be very unlikely that the person would be able to survive,” Dr Botterill told the inquest.
He said Mr Davy had two wounds to his chest, both of which had damaged his heart wall, and both of which were fatal.
Webber to ‘suffer severe trauma’ if questioned
Lawyers representing Mr Webber applied for him to be excluded from giving evidence on medical grounds, based on a psychiatric report compiled by Michael Likely.
“I have diagnosed Dean Webber as suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is a severe disorder,” Dr Likely told the court.
He said Mr Webber would likely decompensate within minutes of taking the witness stand, if he was required to give evidence at the inquest.
“Decompensation means a severe worsening of symptoms, applied to all mental disorders,” he told the court.
“It’s worse than recurrence or relapse … his symptoms will deteriorate very severely and very rapidly.”
Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley asked Dr Likely if any measures could be taken to reduce the impact on Mr Webber’s mental state.
Coroner Bentley asked if he could be placed in a separate room outside the courtroom and live streamed in.
She also asked if a support person could help reduce Mr Webber’s symptoms and if limiting his time for questioning would have any impact.
“The only measures that would potentially decrease decompensation would be a protracted, I’m talking a year, of psychotherapy, and potentially pharmacoptherapy.”
When Ms Bentley asked if providing Mr Webber with questions in writing would reduce the impact on him, Dr Likely agreed.
“It’s a good idea but it would be ideal if the questions were provided in advance rather than spontaneously,” he said.
Dr Botterill told the court while both Mr Davy and Mr Christensen had alcohol in their systems at the time of autopsy, Mr Davy’s blood-alcohol-concentration (BAC) of 0.05 was too low to have contributed to his death.
He said Mr Christensen’s BAC was 0.211 and that his level of intoxication likely contributed to his death.
“That contribution may have been in behavioural terms,” Dr Botterill told the inquest.
“Most people become more vocal, more aggressive in their general behaviour when they get to that level of alcohol.
“One’s ability to think and act in a way that avoids danger is impaired with a blood-alcohol at that level.”