Submissions have begun this morning in the judicial
review of a coroner's finding following an inquest into the
death of Iraena Asher at an Auckland beach.
After an inquest in July last year, Coroner Peter Ryan ruled
the 25-year-old most likely drowned at Piha in 2004.
But Piha couple Bobbie Carroll and Julia Woodhouse were also
criticised in his finding for not calling police that night
after taking a distraught Ms Asher in and Coroner Ryan ruled
that while Ms Asher's death was accidental, they contributed
to her death.
The couple are challenging that ruling in the High Court at
Their lawyer, Garth Gallaway, this morning outlined why he
believed the comments were unfair towards the couple.
He also claimed that due process was not followed before the
critical decision, meaning the couple were not given an
opportunity to instruct their own lawyer and rebut adverse
comments about them in court.
The hearing before Justice Helen Winkelmann continues.
Ms Woodhouse and her son Henry were driving home when they
found Ms Asher wandering in her underwear, scared and
confused. They took her to their home and, with Ms Carroll,
spent four hours comforting her.
They said they twice discussed calling the police. Each time
Ms Asher became agitated and begged them not to; she said she
had called the police already but they were not interested.
The couple considered their options and decided that keeping
the young woman safe and warm inside was better than having
her bolt into the cold stormy night - which they thought was
bound to happen if they called 111.
- By Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald