Domestic violence prevention advocates say the impending retrial of a man who killed his wife could retraumatise the victim’s family.
Domestic violence prevention advocates say the impending retrial of a man who killed his wife could retraumatise the victim’s family.

Wife killer appeal win sparks calls for DV courts in Darwin

DOMESTIC violence prevention advocates are calling for the introduction of specialised DV courts in Darwin after it was revealed the family of a woman bashed to death by her partner will have to face the retrial of her killer.

Tennant Creek man Baden Flash won an appeal to have his murder conviction quashed last week after bashing his wife Kwementaya Foster on the head with a brick in July 2018.

The Criminal Court of Appeal heard Flash was too drunk to prove beyond reasonable doubt he intended to kill Ms Foster, and the matter will be retried.

A spokeswoman from Darwin domestic violence service provider Dawn House said the legal process could traumatise and retraumatise victims of domestic violence.

She said the retrial of Flash could have a huge emotional toll on Ms Foster's family.

"A retrial I think is damaging in many ways," she said.

"The woman has been vindicated in court and there's an understanding that violence is not to be accepted and this is sending information out to the community as a whole.

"Whether you end up killing or whether you don't end up killing, none of that is acceptable."

The spokeswoman said domestic violence courts should be introduced in Darwin, as they were in Alice Springs, to make the legal process better for victims and their loved ones.

"If we had DV-specific courts, we have the option to train everyone in that system, judges, lawyers, police who work in that environment … so they are well informed about the trauma that victim has gone through," she said.

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said the government would consider implementing a specialised domestic violence process in Darwin depending on how successful it was in Alice Springs.

"Just last week the Legislative Assembly passed the Justice Legislation Amendment (Domestic and Family Violence) Bill 2019," she said.

"We will now see a specialist approach to domestic violence sentencing in the Alice Springs Local Court, so that rehabilitation programs can occur where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

"Based on outcomes of the upcoming trial and evaluation of domestic violence court in Alice Springs in this specialised space, it could be expected Darwin may also follow a similar path."


Originally published as Wife killer appeal win sparks calls for DV courts in Darwin


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