Coroner's report into Noelene Beutel’s death brings hope

TRAGEDY: The domestic violence murder of Noelene Beutel might have been prevented, says the coroner.
TRAGEDY: The domestic violence murder of Noelene Beutel might have been prevented, says the coroner. Contributed

THE SISTER of a woman killed on the Sunshine Coast hopes a coroner's scathing report into the death brings change to the way domestic violence cases are investigated.

Coroner John Hutton found several flaws in the system leading up to Noelene Beutel's death at Tanawha in 2011 and recommended changes to the way potential domestic violence cases are handled.

He said the government should adopt a pilot domestic violence centre to stop domestic violence cases slipping through the cracks.

"In my view, one of the circumstances which contributed to Ms Beutel's death was that she was dealing with various agencies, none of whom knew her full circumstances, and none of whom were able to co-operate," Mr Hutton said.

"A central, collaborative, empathetic space containing all of these agencies may have made a substantial difference.

"In particular, an institution of this type may have enabled her to exit her relationship with (Wayn Edward Raymond McClutchie) safely instead of tragically."

Six months before Ms Beutel was killed by McClutchie and her body found in the boot of a burning car, police visited her in hospital but did not investigate an incident because she was unco-operative and antagonistic.

"It appears to be accepted by all parties that the police officers, in turn, responded poorly to Ms Beutel's aggression and 'wrote off' the job rather than endeavouring to see behind Ms Beutel's attitude and investigate further," he said.

After her release Ms Beutel took out a protection order but the coroner said a police investigation would have helped the court find the most suitable measure.

He also said there needed to be clearer reporting of potential domestic violence cases and better communication between departments dealing with domestic violence.

Ms Beutel's sister Rhonda Ziebell hoped the recommendations would lead to fewer domestic violence victims suffering the same fate.

"The fact that it was missed by all those departments and they were not able to co-ordinate was extremely disappointing," she said.

"We need something done and something done sooner rather than later."

Topics:  coroner domestic violence noelene beutel

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