The West Australian Attorney General John Quigley has asked the Solicitor General for advice on a request from the father of four murdered children for him to direct the State Coroner to conduct an inquest into their deaths.
Late on Friday night Mr Quigley’s office received a letter from Aaron Cockman, whose children and former wife was murdered on a rural property near Margaret River two years ago.
Mr Cockman’s children –daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan,12, Arye, 10 and Kadyn, eight – were shot by their grandfather Peter Miles, who also murdered their mother Katrina and his wife Cynda at Forever Dreaming Farm in Osmington, just outside Margaret River.
It was a crime that shocked the nation. After the loss of his own family, Mr Cockman said he would not rest until he saw major changes to the way Australia dealt with family breakdowns and the subsequent custody issues.
It was on the second anniversary of their deaths that Mr Cockman was shocked to receive notice that their death certificates were ready, leading him to believe there would be no public inquest.
Mr Quigley's office said because they could not find a precedent for the Attorney General ordering the State Coroner to conduct an inquiry, they had asked for the advice.
Mr Cockman asked why the state and its Coroner would not want to investigate what happened and the reasons for it; particularly, the role the household's involvement in Family Court might have played.
“I am writing to you personally to ask you to insist that the WA Coroner carry out a full and transparent inquest into the seven deaths of members of my family,” Mr Cockman wrote.
"Will you take a stand today and help me and all Australians find out what we could all do to prevent the murder of one child every fortnight by a parent or family member?"
“I do not believe I should have been put in the position of having to request this - I think this is something that the whole community expected, given the extreme and public nature of the tragedy, and I think that everyone should want to find out any possible ways of preventing a repeat of such an event, rather than carrying out a secret inquest that doesn’t investigate some of the most obvious and important aspects of this case.”
Mr Cockman appealed to Mr Quigley as a "champion of victims of injustice".
"My questions to you are simple: will you take a stand today and help me and all Australians find out what we could all do to prevent the murder of one child every fortnight by a parent or family member?" Mr Cockman's letter said.
"Would you like to make sure that such a tragedy as happened to my family never happens in WA again? Will you take this final opportunity to direct the WA Coroner to conduct a full and transparent inquiry?
"I hope you will want to help me and all Australians by standing up with me for my, and for all, kids."
Mr Cockman said there were public inquests, in the public interest, into a wide range of deaths.
"Why would there not be one into such an extreme set of murders when there is a clear opportunity that it might illuminate ways to protect future generations of our children?” he wrote.
Mr Quigley would not comment further.
This article was first published on WA Today. Read the original article.