Only the man who lured outback nurse Gayle Woodford to her brutal death can tell an inquest what happened, police argue.
Only the man who lured outback nurse Gayle Woodford to her brutal death can tell an inquest what happened, police argue.

Call for killer to front Gayle Woodford murder inquest

Only convicted killer Dudley Davey can fully explain the circumstances leading to the brutal rape and murder of outback nurse Gayle Woodford and should be called at an inquest into her death, the Adelaide Coroners Court has been told.

Renewing a push for Davey to appear at next year's inquiry, counsel for Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said his evidence could have a bearing on any assessment of the safety measures that were in place for outback nurses at the time of Ms Woodford's death in 2016.

The court heard Davey's testimony could also impact on what recommendations might be made in relation to safety measures that could be put in place in the future.

Dudley Davey after his arrest. Picture: 7 News
Dudley Davey after his arrest. Picture: 7 News

Ms Woodford's body was found buried in a crude grave three days after she went missing from her Fregon home in 2016. Davey subsequently pleaded guilty to her rape and murder and is serving a minimum 32-year jail term.

It was believed Davey had tricked Ms Woodford into opening a security cage around her home and had overpowered her as she walked to her ambulance.

But counsel for the police commissioner told Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel yesterday that questions still remained as to whether Davey had gained access to Ms Woodford's house before attacking her. He said knowing the full circumstances could better assist the coroner in making informed recommendations on the safety of nurses.

Counsel assisting, Ahura Kalali said he was opposed to Davey being called, arguing he would not be a credible or reliable witness.

He said Davey had lied to police during the investigation and had admitted to having taken drugs before the attack.

"He has never provided a grain of truth about what had happened," Mr Kalali said.

Counsel for Davey also questioned the value of him appearing, saying it was doubtful as to whether his testimony would be coherent or helpful.

Mr Schapel said he had not changed his original view and was not intending to call Davey to give evidence.

But he said it remained open for counsel to raise the issue again during the course of the inquest. "I'm not closing the door on that," he said.

The coroner will begin his inquiry on January 13.



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