Woman falsely confessed to hitting cyclist to scare a man

A CYCLIST was hit and left for dead along the Warrego Hwy and Gatton woman Joanne Marie McCauley told others she was responsible because she wanted to scare a man, an inquest has heard.

Sitting in the witness box at an inquest in Brisbane, Ms McCauley said she wanted to look invincible, so she told the man, who she had heard had once raped a child, that she had hit the cyclist.

But she said she was not really involved.

"(I told the story) to frighten him to make him think that I would be capable enough to do that to him…" she told the court.

"I never dreamt it would come down to this."

Police believe Ms McCauley, who has previously lived at Rockhampton and near Toowoomba, ran over Chinese national Shui Ki Chan, 25, who was found dead in a ditch by the side of the highway on August 23 2012.

Counsel assisting Peter De Waard said Mr Chan had been riding his bike the previous night from his workplace at McDonald's to the caravan park about 2km away. Mr De Waard said it was clear it was a hit-and-run incident.

Mr Chan's injuries from the crash were not what killed him; he died from hypothermia having been left in the cold overnight.

No charges have been laid and police requested an inquest be held, Mr De Waard said.

Ms McCauley was in the witness box for most of Monday and said because she was scared she did not tell police she told people a fake story.

"I was just scared, scared of being charged with a crime I didn't commit. It was a story I made up because I was scared."

It is expected 20 witnesses will give evidence over two weeks. - ARM NEWSDESK


Inquest played 'Mickey Mouse type' recording

A BRISBANE coroner has expressed his alarm at a "Mickey Mouse-type" recording and interviewing tactics Gatton police used on a woman who officers believed purposely ran over a cyclist on the Warrego Hwy.

At the first day of the inquest into the cyclist's death, Brisbane Coroner John Hutton expressed his dismay at a police tactic to interview Joanne Marie McCauley without telling her.

The court was played a field recording taken when police officers went to her house and found her hiding in a cupboard.

"It would appear to me that (the officer) went out there with a view of interviewing her in relation to what he believed to be a murder. And she wasn't warned," Mr Hutton said.

"I can't believe that this has been done in this manner."

The recording captured conversations between her and police at her house and when she was at the police station. At times the recording was unclear.

"We've got this Mickey Mouse type tape here now... Mmm, good police work," Mr Hutton said.

Police later asked Ms McCauley if she wanted to be formally interviewed and Mr Hutton said there was no such thing as a "formal interview".

"It's absolute rubbish. Anything a witness says is evidence… an interview is an interview. When you're talking to a policeman you are being interviewed, there are no ifs or buts about that."


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