The case involving a woman who bled to death on a remote Australian beach after having sex with two men has been reopened after five years, after it was believed no one would ever be prosecuted for her death.
The woman, known in court as 'Norma' to protect the identity of her relatives and seven children, bled to death after a night of drinking with Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris in a van on Ten Mile Beach in New South Wales, Australia on 27 January 2011. The two men, who both said that they had consensual sex with Norma before her death, were arrested – Attwater on suspicion of manslaughter and Maris on being an accessory.
However in March 2012, New South Wales' Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lloyd Babb refused to charge them, without giving a reason. But now the DPP has reopened the investigation after an interjection by New South Wales' Attorney General Gabrielle Upton.
Men were 'callous'
Coroners said Norma died after bleeding out from massive internal injuries after she was subjected to a forceful sex act. One doctor described the injuries as being worse than those seen in the most traumatic of childbirths.
Norma had known Attwater "for years" and they were reportedly in a casual relationship.
Attwater and Maris both said they had consensual "wild sex" with Norma, and she did not complain she was in pain at the time. But she collapsed while swimming the following morning.
State Coroner Michael Barnes said he did not accept she had been able to go swimming "just minutes before she allegedly collapsed and died from blood loss". He branded the men "callous" and pointed to evidence that they burned her mattress and some of her clothing after the incident. Attwater claims they burned the mattress to get rid of the "foul blood smell".
A lost, 'sweet' girl
A police report showed Norma had a blood alcohol level of 0.35, which equates to 3.5% of her blood stream containing alcohol. According to the NHS, this amount of alcohol would cause severely slurred speech, double vision, nausea and hypothermia. The drinker would also be unaware of their surroundings, behaviour and any physical sensations. Due to this, Barnes claims Norma was too drunk to give consent to the act that caused her death.
Norma, of no fixed address, had seven children who lived with various members of the family. Her family described her as a "sweet girl who'd lost her way".