Coroner John Huston found that Gatton woman Joanne Marie McCauley deliberately ran over Hong Kong national Shui Ki Chan. Picture: Supplied
Coroner John Huston found that Gatton woman Joanne Marie McCauley deliberately ran over Hong Kong national Shui Ki Chan. Picture: Supplied

Country cop wants 'sloppy investigation' claim overturned

A COUNTRY cop wants a court to overturn a coroner's decision that accused him of leading a sloppy investigation into a suspected murder.

Coroner John Hutton's last act before he retired in November was to hand down explosive recommendations regarding the hit-and-run death of Hong Kong tourist Shui Ki Chan on the Warrego Highway in 2012.

Mr Hutton found ice addict Joanne McCauley deliberately ran over the 25-year-old and left him for dead in a ditch, where he suffered fatal hypothermia, and recommended murder charges be laid.

But the coroner claimed police showed no urgency in laying a murder charge and he referred lead investigator, Gatton Detective Senior Constable David Neumann, to the Police Commissioner with the blunt observation "police have not done their job one bit".

Joanne McCauley outside court in 2016.
Joanne McCauley outside court in 2016.

Constable Neumann, who did not give evidence at the inquest due to medical issues, has since lodged an application to review the decision in the Supreme Court.

He has alleged in the application that Mr Hutton's comments involved a breach of natural justice and he was not given adequate notice of the issues in order to respond.

"(Mr Hutton's) decisions adversely affect the applicant's personal and professional reputation," it was noted in the application.

Constable Neumann has alleged the conclusions made by Mr Hutton "lacked any probative evidence", and he exceeded his jurisdiction by revealing that he referred the officer for internal investigation.

Mr Hutton is yet to lodge a defence to the application.

A spokesman for Queensland Police said senior officers were still reviewing the issues raised and would carefully consider the recommendations.

The investigation into Shui Ki Chan's death is ongoing and being overviewed by the Regional Crime Coordinator.

The judicial review of the coroner's findings will be before the court for the first time next month.



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