A coroner has decided not
to resume the inquiry into slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy's
death, despite the wishes of his widow Kylee.
The inquest into Mr Guy's 2010 death was put on hold when his
brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald stood trial and was ultimately
acquitted for his murder.
Coroner Carla na Nagara released her decision today in which
she outlined why she would not resume the inquiry.
She said doing so would "only be to pursue a finding that Mr
Macdonald - acquitted of Mr Guy's murder - was the killer".
"Having reviewed the High Court trial transcript and the
scope of the police investigation I consider the
circumstances of Mr Guy's death were adequately established
in the course of the criminal investigation and the trial,"
Coroner Nagara said she had conveyed this provisional view to
Mr Guy's parents and to his widow, Kylee Guy, earlier this
Mr Guy's parents accepted this view and took no issue with
the coronial inquiry not being resumed.
Kylee Guy, however, sought through her solicitor Chris Morris
to resume the inquiry.
Mr Morris submitted to the coroner that the circumstances of
Mr Guy's death had not been established and "the identity of
the killer is a question of fact directly relevant to the
circumstances of the death that has not been determined in
the criminal proceeding".
He said Macdonald's acquittal did not render it inappropriate
for the coroner to establish who inflicted the wounds to Mr
"The question of who factually killed Mr Guy is quite a
different question to that of whether Mr Macdonald bears any
legal responsibility for his death," he said.
Macdonald is currently in jail for serious criminal offences
against the Guys and others, including arson.
Mr Morris said the only information about Macdonald's
whereabouts at the time of the killing as it stood was
contained in police interviews, and a coronial inquiry would
be an opportunity for him to be summonsed to give evidence in
Mr Morris said it would be in the public interest for there
to be a factual finding about who killed Mr Guy, and that
Kylee Guy felt strongly - for her and the couple's two sons -
that they be assured all available steps had been taken to
find out how he died.
Coroner Nagara, however, said that because the killer's
identity had not been established, it did not mean the
circumstances of death had not been adequately established.
"It is the identity of the deceased that needs to be
established. It is not a requirement that a coroner should
necessarily establish the identity of other person(s)
involved in the death," she said.
Resuming the inquiry would risk the Coroner's Court becoming
a "back-stop jurisdiction for the reconsideration - by a
different process, by different rules of evidence and to a
lower standard of proof - of criminal matters, which is a
function fundamentally and uncomfortably at offs with its