Jaidyn Raymond Leskie
JAIDYN RAYMOND LESKIE
Coroners Case Number: 007/98
ABOUT THE REPORT
The Report is divided into a number of sections. There is a general Introduction followed by a discussion section dealing with evidence and submissions. After the “Discussion on the Evidence” section are the “Findings” and “Conclusion to the Findings”. Then follows the “Recommendations and Comments” section of the report in which the writer makes some observations about issues to do with public health and safety or the administration of justice. Acknowledgements will be found at the end of the document.
INTRODUCTION: THE CORONER’S JURISDICTION AND INVESTIGATION
Background and summary
Jaidyn Raymond Leskie was born on 30th April 1996 to Ms. Bilynda Williams (nee Murphy) and Mr. Brett Leskie. Mr. Leskie was previously married to Katie, Ms. William’s sister.
On 15th June 1997 the disappearance of Jaidyn Leskie was reported by police to the State Coroner as a suspected death.
At the time of his disappearance, Jaidyn lived at 27 Lincoln Street, Moe with his mother Ms. Bilynda Williams and his sister Breehanna Leskie (who was born on 17th January 1995). Following Jaidyn’s disappearance an extensive search was conducted and his body was recovered from the Blue Rock Dam in the Moe district on 1st January 1998 when it was discovered floating on the surface.
On 14th and 15th June 1997, shortly before his disappearance, Jaidyn was being looked after by Mr. Greg Domaszewicz who was a friend of Ms. Williams. At this time Ms. Williams had permitted Mr. Domaszewicz to care for Jaidyn at his house at 150 Narracan Drive, Newborough. Mr. Domaszewicz lived alone at this address.
Subsequently, in July 1997, Mr. Domaszewicz was charged with Jaidyn’s murder and remanded in custody. On 1st January 1998 the death was reported to the Coroner when the body was discovered at the Blue Rock Dam, near Moe.
In March 1998, committal proceedings were conducted at the Moe Magistrates’ Court and Mr. Domaszewicz was committed for trial. Subsequently, on 4th December 1998 he was found not guilty by a Supreme Court jury of Jaidyn’s murder or manslaughter.
Summary history of coronial involvement in the investigation
In December 1998 Mr. Brett Leskie’s solicitors sought a coronial investigation into the death and to hold an inquest. Subsequently Deputy State Coroner Iain West commenced an investigation into Jaidyn’s death. In January 2002 the Deputy State Coroner advised interested parties he had decided to exercise his discretionary power under s.17(3) of the Coroners Act 1985 (Vic) and not to hold an inquest into the death.
In May 2002, Deputy State Coroner West completed a record of investigation into the death. The following findings were made; the identity of the deceased was Jaidyn Leskie and that death occurred on or about 14th June 1997 at an unknown place and was from head injuries. The Deputy State Coroner also made summary findings in relation to the “circumstances” of the death which included demographics residential and a description of various events of the evening of 14th June 1997 that had emerged during the trial, the discovery of Jaidyn’s body along with the results of the post-mortem examination and the verdict from the criminal trial.
Following completion of Deputy Coroner West’s finding on the papers (sometimes called “a finding in chambers” or “a chamber finding”) remained as the record of investigation into the death until it was set aside by the State Coroner on 26th September 2003.
Prior to setting aside the Deputy Coroner’s findings, in June 2002, the State Coroner received letters from Jaidyn’s family seeking a review of these earlier findings and requesting that an inquest be held into the death. There were also requests from members of the public. The family also sent requests to the Attorney-General, who forwarded them to the State Coroner.