“It still doesn’t feel real. We’re all overwhelmed, emotional, exhausted - a complete rollercoaster of emotions,” said the stepfather of Lynette Daley.
Daley, 33, had been on a camping trip to Ten Mile Beach, NSW, with two men – Paul Maris and Adrian Atwater – in January 2011 when she died. Maris and Atwater told ambulance officers who attended the scene that the mother of seven had lost consciousness after a night of drinking.
An autopsy would later discover that Daley had died from blunt force trauma to her genital tract, and had horrific internal and external injuries.
Although the case was originally referred to the Director of Public Prosecution, no charges were laid. Then, last month a Four Corners documentary covered the case, and a petition was launched, calling for the DPP to review the case.
More than 70,000 people signed the petition and the case was duly reviewed. Yesterday Attwater was charged with manslaughter and Maris with being an accessory after the fact to manslaughter.
Today, Daley’s stepfather, Graham posted a note on Change.org, thanking supporters.
“We’re absolutely speechless right now. If you haven’t already heard, the DPP has charged two men over the death of our beautiful daughter Lynette.
"My heart dropped when I took the call from the Attorney General last night. It still doesn’t feel real. We’re all overwhelmed, emotional, exhausted - a complete rollercoaster of emotions.
"After five long, painful years battling the justice system, our family had absolutely no hope for the future. But this all turned around when Carolyn started this petition for justice for Lynette and 70,000 signatures flooded in from across Australia.
"Not only did the public pressure force the DPP to act - but you gave us the strength to keep fighting and gave us hope in the hardest and darkest of times.
"We can’t stop crying and I cannot put into words how thankful myself, Thelma (Lynette’s mum) and Lynette’s children are. The look on our grandchildren’s faces when we told them the news will remain with us forever - their faces lit up. They finally have hope of getting justice for their mother, taken from them too soon."