Ms Dhu 5c - Resisting Accountability


Resisting Accountability: The case of Lynette Daley

Lynette Daley (also known as ‘Norma’) was a 33 year old mother of seven. She was described by her family as beautiful, loving and kind-hearted. She had survived previous relationships where men had inflicted multiple forms of violence and control against her.

On Invasion Day in 2011 she was subject to a prolonged and violent sexual assault at a time where she was highly intoxicated and could not have provided consent. She died the following morning and was found naked and bloodied on the Ten Mile beach near Iluka in NSW. A Report by 4 Corners entitled ‘Callous Disregard’, detailed the harrowing circumstances surrounding her death.

When questioned by police, Adrian Attwater, one of the men charged for her death stated, ‘These things just happen, man, as I said. Girls can be girls. Boys will be boys.’ The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute in 2012 and declined to revive charges in 2014 following the Coronial Inquest. Community outrage led to an independent review of the case in 2016.  A two week trial was held in August 2017 following which the judge delivered a ‘guilty’ verdict. On 8 December 2017, Adrian Attwater was sentenced to 19 years with a non-parole period of 14 years and 3 months, while Paul Maris was sentenced to 9 years with a non-parole period of 6 years and 9 months.

For further details of Lynette Daley’s story see our case study, Indigenous Femicide and the Killing State.


A man stands to the left of the frame and a woman stands to the right of their frame. Both have their backs toward the camera and are looking to the sky at a flying eagle.[imagecaption] Adrian Davies and Thelma Davis watch an Eagle fly past a memorial for Lynette, Ten Mile Beach, 2016. Photo: Rob Griffith. [/imagecaption]

‘She was just a statistic with the DPP and with them. You know, it was just another Indigenous girl, we’ll sweep it under the carpet…I was wondering if it would’ve been two Aboriginal boys had done that to a white girl, I reckon they’d be still in jail.’

Gordon Davis (Lynette Daley’s Stepfather)

‘We know where they are now, we know they won’t do it to anyone else.’

Gordon Davis (Lynette Daley’s Stepfather), December 2017



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