Jobs Events Advertise Newsletter

Inquest into historical death of Gomeroi teenager set to begin in Tamworth

Dechlan Brennan -

The long-awaited inquest into the 1988 death of Gomeroi teenager Mark Anthony Haines will begin in Tamworth on Monday, 36 years after the then 17-year-old died in suspicious circumstances.

The inquest before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame comes after decades of campaigning by Mr Haines' family, who say they are seeking answers on how he came to be found dead on January 16, 1988, on train tracks outside of the NSW regional town of Tamworth.

Mr Haines' sister, Lorna Haines, said her family had waited a long time for the inquest to begin to find out "the truth about what happened that night".

"My brother was a beautiful young man," Ms Haines said.

"Mark was a talented sportsman, good at school, popular and well-liked.

"We hope that the coroner will not rest until all the facts come out. All we want is accountability and truth. At long last, we hope this inquest will be the path to justice."

The initial police investigation into Mr Haines' death concluded he died by suicide, having been struck by a train. A coronial inquest in 1989 returned an open finding on his death.

Mr Haines' uncle, Uncle Don 'Duck' Craigie said he hoped this investigation would give the family information they didn't get from the first one.

"We are hopeful that answers about Mark's death will come to light and can finally be explained," Mr Craigie said.

It is understood some family members have reservations about potential shortcomings in the initial police investigation, including a failure to consider a conclusion other than suicide, and a loss of evidence.

In November 2022, the NSW Coroner confirmed that the court was reviewing Mr Haines' death, before it was announced in May last year a second coronial inquest would be held.

NSW police also announced last year a $1 million reward for information relating to Mr Haines' death.

The hearing will be the third historical death of an Indigenous person in NSW to be reopened after more than 35 years in the last six months.

In December last year, an inquest into the 1987 deaths of then 15-year-old Kunja Budjiti and Wangkumara girl Jacinta Rose Smith and her cousin, then 16-year old Murrawarri and Kunja girl Mona Lisa Smith, was held in Bourke.

The findings of that inquest are to be handed down on April 23.

13YARN 13 92 76

Aboriginal Counselling Services 0410 539 905

   Related   

New Caledonia starting to calm after nights of strife
French police reinforcements have begun arriving in New Caledonia in a massive...
Supreme Court sets date for strip search class action against NSW police
The New South Wales Supreme Court has set a date for the strip search class acti...
Dechlan Brennan 18 May 2024
Māori masters graduate finds home in urban planning
Arizona Haddon, a recent Masters graduate in Urban Planning from the University...
Joseph Guenzler 17 May 2024

   Dechlan Brennan   

Supreme Court sets date for strip search class action against NSW police
The New South Wales Supreme Court has set a date for the strip search class acti...
Dechlan Brennan 18 May 2024
Koethuka Kakur: Sherrin gets a makeover for Sir Doug Nicholls round with new name and artwork
The iconic Sherrin - a mainstay on every oval across the country for decades - w...
Dechlan Brennan 17 May 2024
Charles Maimarosia doesn't need to speak loudly – his music does the talking
Charles Maimarosia is a quiet man in person. Well dressed, with a large smile, h...
Dechlan Brennan 17 May 2024