Extension welcomed by gay hate crimes Inquiry

Aug 16, 2023

The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes has welcomed a further short extension of time to deliver its report, which will now be provided to the Governor on 15 December 2023.

In June 2023, Commissioner Sackar wrote to inform the Premier Chris Minns that recent developments meant the Inquiry was unable to complete its work by 30 August 2023.

The extension was required due to late production of records by the NSW Police Force, and promising developments arising from forensic testing undertaken at the direction of the Inquiry.

So far, the Inquiry has received over 140,000 documents from a range of institutions including the NSW Police Force, the Coroners Court of NSW, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages and NSW Health.

To date, 165 summonses have been issued to the NSW Police Force, and 265 summonses have been issued to other institutions or agencies. In addition, 90 summonses to attend have also been issued to various individuals.

The Inquiry has heard evidence in public hearings about the social and cultural context in which suspected LGBTIQ hate crime deaths occurred, as well as extensive evidence from NSW Police Force witnesses (about Strike Forces Parrabell, Neiwand, Taradale and Macnamir) and expert evidence.

The Inquiry has been following a documentary tender process for every case within its Terms of Reference. The evidence tendered in each public proceeding is accompanied by written and oral submissions by Counsel Assisting, reply submissions by the NSW Police Force and, where appropriate, submissions from family members of the victims or persons of interest. Twenty-nine cases have been the subject of the documentary tender process, and the remaining cases will be scheduled in the coming months.

In addition to public hearings, the Inquiry has undertaken and is continuing to undertake private hearings.

Investigative steps are also still ongoing. These include re-testing or, in some cases, testing of exhibits, as well as fingerprinting analysis, and conferences with witnesses.

This Inquiry may represent the final opportunity for detailed consideration of these cases and may be the last chance for perpetrators to be identified. It also represents what may be the last opportunity for the LGBTIQ community and the loved ones of the victims to learn the truth of what happened.

The next public hearing – the Inquiry’s 16th – will take place next week. The death of Crispin Dye will be presented at 10am on Tuesday 22 August 2023. The case of William Allen will be heard at 10am on Thursday 24 August 2023.

More information about current and all past hearings, including transcripts and videos, can be found on the Inquiry’s website.

All general inquiries about the proceedings should be directed to [email protected].