Family tells of heartbreak after DPP decision on Beale death
THE FAMILY of Tracy Ann Beale has spoken of their heartbreak after the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to take any further action over her death.
A coroner found that Mrs Beale died in 2013 after her husband James Andrew Beale placed her in a choke-hold during a violent argument between the couple at their Gladstone home.
Mr Beale was acquitted of murder over her death in 2013.
He was later charged with manslaughter, but that charge was dropped in 2014.
A coronial inquest into Mrs Beale's death finished in March, with coroner David O'Connell concluding she had died as a result of neck compression, which led to asphyxia and a likely vasovagal attack.
The finding prompted the Women's Legal Service Queensland to call for a broad review of the laws surrounding choking and strangulation and to consider a campaign to educate the public on the issue.
Mr O'Connell also referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions "out of an abundance of caution" to see if further charges should be laid against Mr Beale.
Tracy's stepbrother Gavin Loakes yesterday told The Observer her family had been hopeful after the decision to refer the matter to the DPP, but were disappointed after receiving a letter informing them no further action would be taken.
The letter said the decision was made based on the lack of new evidence that would be admissible in a criminal trial, and the unlikely prospect of a successful prosecution.
"Dealing with the law, you never know what to really expect, you're just hoping for an outcome you can live with, but in this case it's pretty hard," Mr Loakes said.
Mr Loakes said the family had not given up hope of seeing the matter go before a court again, and would work to keep the case in the public eye.
"Even to get this far we're out of pocket for a substantial sum of money just to even get the inquest heard," he said.
"But we're certainly not ready to just walk away and let it drop.
"I don't think that's the right thing to do for (Tracy) or for her sons... if you don't stand up for your family, who do you stand up for?"