The son of murdered Melbourne girl Maria James has blasted a collection of police errors he believes allowed her killer to flee justice 40 years in the past.
Mark James on Wednesday described his mom, who was stabbed 68 occasions in June 1980 at her Thornbury house and bookshop, as a form and protecting girl.
However Mark James stated a handful of errors that resulted in key items of proof being misplaced or in any other case combined up with displays from unrelated crime scenes meant the killer was by no means discovered.
“If these displays weren’t misplaced, we’d most likely know who the killer was over a decade in the past and I feel that’s disgusting,” James advised the Victorian coroners court docket on the ultimate day of an inquest into his mom’s loss of life.
“There must be some accountability. So I’m asking the coroner for justice for my mum. The way in which she died was completely horrific.”
Counsel aiding the coroner Sharon Lacy had earlier stated authorities have been answerable for 5 main errors that hamstrung the police investigation.
Essentially the most important mistake was using a blood-stained pillow case in 2003 – initially regarded as from Maria James’ house – to rule out a handful of key suspects.
In 2017 it was revealed the merchandise was from an unrelated case, which Lacy stated resulted in “14 years of potential progress” being misplaced.
A quilted bedspread from the crime scene was recovered in June this yr. However different gadgets of proof, together with Maria James’ blood-stained garments, have lengthy been lacking from the police displays.
“I’m deeply involved concerning the deficiencies with this police investigation … it’s very exhausting to simply accept,” Mark James stated on Wednesday. “I feel a miscarriage of justice might have occurred.”
James stated he believed his mom was killed by both Father Anthony Bongiorno or Father Thomas O’Keeffe – each of whom had been accused of kid abuse.
The now-deceased males have been two of six principal suspects recognized through the inquest.
“I do consider my mum was killed by these monks and someway they bought away with it,” Mark James stated.
His brother, Adam James, additionally paid tribute to their mom on the final day of the inquest.
“She did all the things in her energy to verify no hurt got here to me or my brother,” Adam James stated. “It’s not proper – my mum didn’t should be killed. We would like justice, thanks.”
Coroner Caitlin English thanked Adam and Mark James for attending all 17 days of the inquest however warned it may very well be unimaginable for her to return a conclusive discovering.
“This inquest has been confronting, dry and sophisticated at occasions, and it’s definitely a testomony to your dedication to discovering justice in your mum that you simply attended every single day,” English stated. “There will not be peace or justice for you and Maria … however there’s an lively investigation and the perpetrator could also be found.”
The coroner will ship her findings at a later date.