POLICE have carried out excavations at Clarence Valley properties as part of two
separate missing persons investigations.
The search as part of Strike Force Noorinan involved a cadaver dog, excavators
and a number of police officers assisting in line searching.
"We've undertaken a crime scene search at the premises at Lanitza in relation to
ongoing investigations into the disappearance of Patrick Kear," Coffs Clarence
crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said.
"He hasn't been seen for sometime now. We believe his disappearance is either
subject to foul play or misadventure, and we have not ruled out homicide.
"A number of lines of inquiries detectives are now undertaking and those
parallel investigations have led us to that property."
The search will continue today.
"At this stage it is too early to go into details of the results of the search.
Any results would be subject to investigation and ongoing inquiries."
Patrick Raymond Kear was reported missing from his Parker Rd, Lanitza home in
May 2016. The last confirmed sighting of Mr Kear reported to police was in late
Anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of Mr Kear or the
circumstances of his disappearance should to contact detectives from
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or use the
Crime Stoppers online reporting page https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/.
Information will be treated in strict confidence.
Police said people should not report crime information via the police Facebook
and Twitter pages.
A coroner has found homicide was behind the death of a missing NSW pensioner who
abruptly ceased contact with family and later had his bank account raided by a
But - with that friend also dead and little other evidence available - Patrick
Kear's final resting place and how he got there remains a mystery.
NSW coroner Derek Lee on Thursday could only say the pig breeder and garlic
grower died sometime after his last known sighting - at his home in Wells
Crossing, near Grafton, on January 11, 2016.
Mr Lee said there was "no plausible explanation" as to why Mr Kear had not
contacted his sister Catherine for more than four-and-a-half years and no
evidence had been found of signs of life.
Most significantly, 15 withdrawals were made from Mr Kear's bank account in
the months between the then-51-year-old's last sighting and when his missing
persons report was filed in May 2016.
The final six withdrawals - captured on CCTV - were made by Mr Kear's
long-time friend Terry Thompson.
"There is no evidence that Patrick had ever given authority to Mr Thompson
to access his account," Mr Lee said.
But police were never able to question Mr Thompson over the withdrawals as
he died in a non-suspicious car crash in early June 2016, weeks before the
CCTV was uncovered.
Mr Thompson had lived with Mr Kear for more than a decade but moved out in
2015 after disharmony resulting from Mr Kear's deteriorating mental health.
The inquest heard in early 2016, Mr Kear had expressed worry that "something
was going to happen to me" and that Mr Thompson and another person "are
going to knock me".
In the weeks after January 11, a friend searching for the pig breeder found
Mr Kear's dog Lily at Mr Thompson's new home.
While the female homeowner suggested Mr Kear had left the dog to see his
sister in Queensland, the friend considered this "unusual as Patrick was
known to take Lily with him everywhere", the coroner said on Thursday.
The home was searched by police in July 2016, but nothing of investigative
value was uncovered.
Further covert and overt investigative strategies were unable to provide any
Shortly before his own death, Mr Thompson told detectives February 2016 was
the last time he saw Mr Kear, who had spoken of going to see his sister.
Mr Lee said he couldn't completely exclude the possibility Mr Kear died of
natural causes or misadventure but homicide was most probable.
That finding didn't mean an offence had occurred, Mr Lee said, but rather
meant the death was a result of the direct actions of another person - "most
likely in an episode of interpersonal violence".
"In Patrick's case, because he has not been found and no post-mortem
examination has been conducted, the available evidence does not allow for
any further conclusion to be made as to the cause of his death," he said.
CORONER’S COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Inquest into the suspected death of missing person Patrick Kear
dates: 3 August 2020
Date of findings: 6 August 2020
Place of findings:
Coroner’s Court of New South Wales at Lidcombe
Findings of: Magistrate Derek
Lee, Deputy State Coroner
Findings: On the available evidence I find that
Patrick Kear, who was reported as a missing person on 27 May 2016, is now
deceased. Patrick died on a date unknown sometime on or after 11 January
2016. The available evidence does not allow for any finding to be made as to
the place of Patrick’s death. Patrick died as a result of homicide, although
the available evidence does not allow for any further finding to be made as
to the precise manner of his death. The available evidence and the absence
of any postmortem examination also does not allow for any finding to be made
as to the cause of Patrick’s death.
1.1 On 27 May 2016 Patrick Kear was reported as a missing
person to police in Grafton. At the time of the report Patrick was living on
a rural property at Wells Crossing, about 42 kilometres from Grafton, and
had reportedly not been seen alive since January 2016. During the initial
stages of the police investigation it became evident that a friend that
Patrick had previously lived with had accessed Patrick’s bank account, after
Patrick had been reported missing and without Patrick’s authority.
Despite numerous enquiries made by police over the subsequent years as part
of the missing person investigation to locate Patrick, no reliable evidence
has been uncovered as to Patrick’s whereabouts or as to precisely what
happened to him after January 2016.
2. Why was an inquest held?
November 2018, after all existing lines of enquiry to locate Patrick had
been exhausted, the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) notified the Coroner’s Court
that Patrick was suspected of being deceased. When the case of a missing
person, who is suspected to have died, is reported to a coroner, the coroner
must determine from the available evidence whether that person has in fact
died. In such cases there will often be very little information, despite
extensive enquiries, about what happened to the person after they were last
2.2 If a coroner forms the view that a missing person has died
then the coroner has an obligation to make findings in order to answer
questions about the identity of the person who died, when and where they
died, and what the cause and the manner of their death was. The manner of a
person’s death means the circumstances in which that person died. If the
coroner is unable to answer these questions then an inquest must be held.1
2.3 In Patrick’s case, extensive investigation was conducted by the police
concerning the circumstances surrounding the period both before and after
when he was last seen alive. However, this investigation was unable to
reveal exactly what happened to Patrick after January 2016. As it has not
been possible to answer the questions that a coroner is required to answer,
it became mandatory for an inquest to be held.
2.4 In this context it should
be recognised at the outset that the operation of the Coroners Act 2009 (the
Act), and the coronial process in general, represents an intrusion by the
State into what is usually one of the most traumatic events in the lives of
family members who have reported a loved one as missing. At such times, it
is reasonably expected that families will wish to attempt to cope with the
consequences of such a traumatic event in private. The sense of loss
experienced by family members does not diminish significantly over time.
Therefore, it should be acknowledged that both the coronial process and an
inquest by their very nature unfortunately compel a family to re-live
distressing memories and to do so in a public forum.
3. Patrick’s life
3.1 As will be discussed later in these findings, all of
the evidence gathered to date suggests, tragically, that Patrick is now
deceased. Inquests into the deaths of persons, even those persons who are
missing and suspected of being deceased, by their very nature only tend to
focus on the last moments of a person’s life, or the last moments when they
were seen alive. These moments are sometimes measured in weeks or months,
but more often they are measured in hours and days. As a consequence, often
there is very little known about the (usually) years of life that preceded
these final moments. Therefore, it is appropriate at this stage to recognise
Patrick’s life in a brief, but hopefully meaningful, way.
3.2 Patrick was
born in December 1964 to his parents, Catherine and Donald. Patrick had six
siblings and the family initially lived in the suburb of Punchbowl in
Sydney, before later moving to Urunga near Coffs Harbour following the death
of Patrick’s father.
3.3 In 1972, when Patrick was eight years old, his
mother also passed away. Patrick and his older sister, Jeanette, went to
live with their uncle in Denistone East, whilst Patrick’s other siblings
lived with different relatives. Patrick and Jeanette later went to live with
their older sister, Janiece, in Greenacre before later moving to Sadlier.
3.4 When Patrick was about 18 years old he moved in with his sister,
Catherine, who at the time was living in the Macquarie Fields area.
Catherine and her family later moved to Guyra, and Patrick went to live with
another relative in the same area. When Catherine and her family
subsequently moved to Armidale, Patrick went to live with them
intermittently. In 1994 Catherine moved to Tweed Heads, and Patrick again
went with her, where they lived for about three years before returning to
3.5 Whilst living in Guyra, Patrick found work at the local
abattoir. However, during this time Patrick contracted a bacterial
infection, became quite unwell and was unable to continue working. As a
result, Patrick received a workers compensation payment.
3.6 According to
family members, Patrick was a shy and soft-spoken person. Although it
appears that Patrick had little contact with most of his siblings following
the death of his parents, it is evident that he was particularly close to
his sister, Catherine. There is no doubt that he is greatly missed by her
and that the grief associated with his loss has been compounded by the
uncertainty surrounding the circumstances in which he was last known to be
4. Background to the report of Patrick being missing
4.1 In around
1997, whilst living with Catherine in Armidale, Patrick befriended a man
named Terry Thompson. Patrick and Mr Thompson later moved into an isolated
property in Torrington (near Glen Innes). During this time Patrick,
accompanied by Mr Thompson, would periodically visit Catherine and stay with
her for a few nights each month.
4.2 In around 2002, Patrick and Mr Thompson
moved into a property at 462 Parker Road, Wells Crossing near Grafton (the
Parker Road property) which Patrick bought using his workers compensation
payment. According to Catherine, Patrick had plans to build a large house on
the property for himself and Catherine to live on.
4.3 The Parker Road
property is a split block consisting of 10 hectares, which is mostly cleared
but overgrown. Like other properties in the area, the property is semirural
and backs onto dense bushland. At various times, Patrick and Mr Thompson
bred pigs and grew garlic on the property.
4.4 Located on the property is a
small hand-built dwelling where Patrick and Mr Thompson resided. However,
between 2002 and 2016, both Patrick and Mr Thompson were known to spend
periods of time living away from the Parker Road property. For example,
Patrick went to live with a friend (Mark Williams) for approximately two
years between 2012 and 2014.
4.5 When Patrick returned to live at the
property in 2014, it appears that his deteriorating mental health resulted
in some disharmony between himself and Mr Thompson. As a result Mr Thompson
left the property to live with a friend, Carmen Briffa-Ramadge, and her
husband, Ronald Ramadge.
5. Patrick’s medical history
5.1 Patrick had a
history of hypomania, for which he received medication. Medical records
reveal that Patrick was admitted as an involuntary patient to a mental
facility in Coffs Harbour on two occasions: the first being between 3 and 5
May 2015; and the second being between 10 and 26 May 2015. It appears that
the first admission was related to an episode where Patrick was displaying
manic behaviour and shouting verbal abuse at a neighbour. The second
admission appears to have been a result of a similar episode involving Mr
5.2 Apart from these admissions, there also appears to have been
other occasions where Patrick was displaying manic behaviour which resulted
in police being notified and subsequently attending on Patrick to intervene.
The first episode occurred on 5 June 2015 involving an allegation by Mr
Thompson that Patrick had assaulted him. The second episode occurred four
days later, on 9 June 2015, when police were again called following
allegations that Patrick was being verbally abusive towards a neighbour.
The missing person report
6.1 Mr Williams had been a friend of both Patrick
and Mr Thompson for more than 20 years and had met them when he lived in
Guyra. In the three months leading up to January 2016 Mr Williams regularly
picked up Patrick from the Parker Road property every fortnight and took him
into Grafton so that Patrick could withdraw his social security payment from
an automatic teller machine (ATM) in Prince Street, Grafton (the Prince
6.2 The last occasion when this occurred was on 11 January
2016. The following fortnight Mr Williams was unable to contact Patrick to
see if he wanted a lift to Grafton. As a result, Mr Williams drove out to
the Parker Road property to look for Patrick but found no one there. Mr
Williams subsequently went to see Ms Briffa-Ramadge, who told him that
Patrick had gone to see his sister. At this time, Mr Williams noticed that
Patrick’s dog, “Lily” was at Ms Briffa-Ramadge’s property. Mr Williams
considered this to be unusual as Patrick was known to take Lily with him
6.3 On 27 May 2016 Mr Williams attended Grafton police station
and reported Patrick as missing. Mr Williams also told police that before
making the missing person report he had spoken to Mr Thompson, who reported
that he last saw Patrick hitch hiking away from the Parker Road property,
having left Lily behind.
6.4 Local police in Grafton subsequently made
arrangements to speak to Mr Thompson over the phone on 28 May 2016. Mr
Thompson informed police that he had not seen Patrick for a number of weeks,
but said that Patrick had last told him that he was going to visit one of
his two sisters. When asked for the name of either sister Mr Thompson said
that he was unsure of their names.
6.5 Police subsequently attended the
Parker Road property and spoke to Mr Thompson, who again repeated that he
had not seen Patrick since February 2016. Mr Thompson also informed police
that on one occasion Patrick had told Mr Thompson that he had dreamt of
killing him, which had caused an argument and Patrick eventually leaving the
property, carrying a bag. When police asked if Mr Thompson was aware of any
family or friends that Patrick might stay with, Mr Thompson again referred
to Patrick having a sister who lived in Queensland, but that he did not know
7. Results of the missing person investigation
7.1 As part of the
investigation to locate Patrick investigating police made a number of
enquiries in an attempt to gather further evidence of Patrick’s whereabouts
ad the circumstances in which he went missing. The relevant features of the
investigation are set out below:
(a) Police obtained information in relation
to a St George bank account in Patrick’s name which revealed that by 1 June
2016, Patrick’s account was still active, with Patrick’s social security
payments continuing to be deposited fortnightly. More importantly, the bank
records revealed that there had been 13 withdrawals from the account between
3 February 2016 and 19 May 2016, all from the Prince Street ATM. In
addition, there were two other withdrawals from a different ATM on 7 and 21
March 2016. Police subsequently made further enquiries and obtained (on 28
June 2016) CCTV footage from the Prince Street ATM, with no CCTV footage
being available, due to the passage of time, in relation to the transactions
on 7 and 21 March 2016. The CCTV footage from the Prince Street ATM only
contained footage from 6 April 2016 onwards as earlier footage could not be
retrieved. When the footage was reviewed, it showed that Mr Thompson had
attended the Prince Street ATM and withdrawn funds from Patrick’s account
during six transactions between 6 April 2016 and 19 May 2016. There is no
evidence that Patrick had ever given authority to Mr Thompson to access his
account. No further information regarding these transactions was able to be
obtained from Mr Thompson because on 8 June 2016 (three weeks before the
CCTV footage from the Prince Street ATM was obtained and reviewed by police)
he was involved in a fatal motor vehicle impact. At around 3:00pm that day
Mr Thompson was driving his vehicle along Parker Road, Wells Crossing when
he experienced a medical episode of some kind, causing his vehicle to leave
the road and collide with a power pole. As a result of the impact Mr
Thompson sustained severe injuries and was conveyed to hospital, where he
later died. The incident was subsequently investigated by police and no
suspicious circumstances were identified.
(b) Police obtained mobile phone
records for both Patrick and Mr Thompson for the period between January and
June 2016. The records did not identify any activity between the phone
accounts belonging to Patrick and Mr Thompson, nor any other record that was
relevant to the missing person investigation.
(c) On 10 June 2016 police
searched the Parker Road property and located a vehicle registered in
Patrick’s name, with the registration having expired in February 2016.
Police also located some items of clothing in the dwelling on the property,
but nothing else that was relevant to the investigation. Later on 10 June
2016 police also spoke to Ms Briffa-Ramadge and Mr Ramadge, who lived a
short distance from the Parker Road property. During these discussions Mr
Ramadge made reference to hearing that Patrick’s bank account had been
accessed. Ms Briffa-Ramadge told her husband to be quiet, and informed
police that Mr Ramadge had dementia and did not know what he was talking
about. The comment by Mr Ramadge was considered by police to be unusual as
information regarding the transactions on Patrick’s bank account was not
(d) On 13 June 2016 police took a statement from Joshua
Duck, who had known Patrick and Mr Thompson for around six years and had
previously visited them at the Parker Road property at least once a week. Mr
Duck informed police that during a conversation with Patrick in early 2016,
Patrick told him of his intention to sell the Parker Road property to Ms Briffa-Ramadge. Mr Duck also told police that he spoke to Mr Thompson later
that same day, who said to him, “I will sign my half of the property to [Ms
Briffa-Ramadge and another friend, Alan Elmy] and Pat will be dead before
the property will ever sell. We have plenty of pigs he will never be
found”.2 Mr Duck went on to inform police that he had a conversation with
Patrick in early February 2016 during which Patrick told him, “I spoke to
[Mr Thompson] and he isn’t going to sell the farm. I am worried that
something was [sic] going to happen to me. [Mr Elmy] is constantly in [Mr
Thompson’s] ear 24/7. I reckon that [Mr Thompson] and [Mr Elmy] are going to
(e) On 13 July 2016 police executed a search warrant at the
property of Ms Briffa-Ramadge and Mr Ramadge. Nothing of investigative value
was noted other than a bank statement in Patrick’s name which was dated from
2012. When later asked about the bank statement Ms BriffaRamadge asserted
that she had collected Patrick’s mail and opened a letter containing the
statement to see whether Patrick had performed any transactions, in an
attempt to locate him. It was noted by police that the date of the bank
statement was inconsistent with the account provided by Ms Briffa-Ramadge.
However, as investigating police considered that Ms BriffaRamadge’s account
was unreliable, and because the date of the bank statement could not be
directly connected to the circumstances in which Patrick went missing some
four years later, the discovery of the bank statement was not considered to
have any further evidentiary value.
(f) On 14 July 2016 police spoke to
Sarah Wright, who was friends with both Patrick and Mr Thompson. Ms Wright
told police that sometime in January 2016 she was at Ms Briffa-Ramadge’s
house with Mr Thompson. According to Ms Wright, Mr Thompson informed her
that Patrick had threatened him with a knife, leading Mr Thompson to be
worried that Patrick was going to harm him in some way. Peter Henderson,
another friend of Mr Thompson, told police that Mr Thompson said that
Patrick was going to harm him whilst he was asleep, and had reported a
physical altercation between Mr Thompson and Patrick on an unspecified date.
(g) Police spoke to a number of other persons who were friends with both
Patrick and Mr Thompson who similarly reported a history of previous
disagreements between the two men which appears to have been related to two
factors: a deterioration in Patrick’s mental health in the second half of
2015, and Mr Thompson returning to reside at the Parker Road property around
this time, before later going to live with Ms Briffa-Ramadge and Mr Ramadge.
(h) Police also used a number of overt and covert investigative strategies
to identify any person that may have had knowledge of, or may have been
directly or indirectly involved in, Patrick’s death. These investigations
did not produce any further evidence which advance the missing person
7.2 Apart from the enquiry set out above, since May 2016 the
police officer-in-charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable
Alistair McLeod has made a number of enquiries which, in the context of a
missing person investigation, are referred to as “signs of life checks”.
These checks involve enquiries being made with financial institutions,
government organisations (such as Centrelink, Medicare, the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme and Births, Deaths and Marriages registries) and interstate
law enforcement and missing persons agencies to identify whether there are
any records indicating that a missing person has had some interaction with
these organisations and institutions. These checks have been repeated three
times, most recently in July 2020. In addition, information has been sought
from the public via a number of media releases and media campaigns. None of
these enquiries or appeals for information has elicited any further reliable
evidence as to Patrick’s whereabouts.
8. Is Patrick now deceased?
8.1 A finding that a person is deceased is a finding of great significance
and gravity, not only for the family members of that person and the
emotional toll that such a finding will invariably bring, but also because
such a finding carries with it important legal and administrative
consequences. Such a finding is made on the balance of probabilities, but
there must be clear, cogent and exact evidence that a person has died before
it can be made.
8.2 A consideration of the available evidence gathered during the
course of the investigation into Patrick being reported missing reveals the
following significant matters:
(a) Despite extensive and comprehensive
physical, documentary and electronic searches no evidence has been uncovered
as to either Patrick’s whereabouts or him being alive after January 2016.
(b) In the period leading up to January 2016, it appears that Patrick had
been experiencing a deterioration in his mental health which, in part,
appears to have contributed to some disharmony and disagreements involving
Mr Thompson. This in turn appears to have resulted in both Patrick and Mr
Thompson believing that they were at risk of harm from each other, and
reported incidents of unspecified physical altercations.
(c) In the months
leading up to 11 January 2016, Patrick had a regular arrangement to
accompany Mr Williams to Grafton each fortnight. No evidence has been
identified to explain why this arrangement suddenly ceased after 11 January
(d) By all accounts Patrick was very fond of his dog, Lily, and was
known to be out without her. It is therefore considered to be highly unusual
that Patrick would leave home for such an extended period of time without
taking his dog with him.
(e) There is no evidence that since January 2016
Patrick has obtained any financial means to support himself, found any
accommodation or managed to provide for his basic living needs.
suggestions by Mr Thompson and others that Patrick left the Parker Road
property to travel to Queensland to see Catherine, the evidence establishes
that at the relevant time Patrick did not know where Catherine lived.
Since January 2016 Patrick has not made contact with his sister Catherine,
in circumstances where they had a close relationship. Although they lived in
different states they were known to remain in contact with each other.
Again, there is no plausible explanation as to why Patrick has not contacted
Catherine for over four and a half years.
8.3 Most significantly, the
evidence establishes that there were 15 ATM withdrawals from Patrick’s bank
account between February and May 2016. CCTV footage positively establishes
that six of these transactions were made by Mr Thompson. Given that the
withdrawals ceased shortly before Mr Thompson’s fatal motor vehicle
incident, it is most likely that Mr Thompson was also responsible for the
remaining nine withdrawals from Patrick’s account.
8.4 Having regard to the
matters set out above, the conclusion that must, sadly, be reached is that,
on the balance of probabilities, Patrick is now deceased. It is a
significant part of this conclusion that in almost five years since Patrick
was last known to be alive, despite repeated checks, no evidence has been
found of any signs of life.
9. When and where did Patrick die, and what was
the cause and manner of his death?
9.1 Having concluded that Patrick is now
deceased, the questions that now arise, as part of the function of the
coronial jurisdiction, is whether the available evidence allows for any
finding to be made as to where and when Patrick died, and the cause and
manner of his death.
9.2 The last confirmed sighting of Patrick was made by
Mr Williams on 11 January 2016. Although other persons made reports to
police of having seen Patrick in either late January 2016 or early February
2016, these reports have been unable to be confirmed. As no sign of Patrick
has been found after January 2016, the only conclusion that can be reached
is that he died sometime after 11 January 2016. As Patrick has not been
found, and because there is obviously limited evidence as to what occurred
after 11 January 2016 the available evidence does not allow for any
conclusion to be reached as to where Patrick died.
9.3 As to the manner of
Patrick’s death, it is commonly the case in coronial matters that the manner
of a person’s death is determined to be due to either natural causes or
misadventure. More uncommonly, the manner of a person’s death is determined
to be as a result of homicide. In Patrick’s case there is no evidence which
establishes that prior to January 2016 Patrick was suffering from a health
condition which could have accounted for his sudden and expected death.
Similarly, there is no evidence which establishes that Patrick died as a
result of accident or misadventure sometime after January 2016. In either
case, it could reasonably be expected that if Patrick had died from natural
causes or due to misadventure that he would have been found, or at least
some evidence uncovered as to his whereabouts.
9.4 Neither of the above
scenarios can be entirely excluded on the limited evidence available.
However, there is in Patrick’s case some probative evidence that allows for
a conclusion to be reached that it is more probable than not that Patrick
died as a result of homicide. Certainly, this is the opinion held by
Detective McLeod, who gave evidence during the inquest. There are three
matters relevant to this conclusion: firstly, Mr Thompson’s unauthorised
withdrawals from Patrick’s account in the period between February and May
2016 are strongly suggestive of a connection between these actions and
Patrick’s death; secondly, there is evidence of a deterioration in the
relationship between Patrick and Mr Thompson in the months leading up to
January 2016; and thirdly, when police spoke to Mr Thompson shortly after
Patrick was reported missing he claimed to not know Catherine’s name in
circumstances where he had previously met her on many occasions. It is
evident that Mr Thompson’s own death in June 2016 precluded any further
investigation by police in relation to the manner and cause of Patrick’s
9.5 In reaching a conclusion that Patrick died as a result of
homicide, it should be borne in mind that, in accordance with section 81(3)
of the Act, this in no way suggests that an offence has been committed by
any person. Rather, the finding as to homicide is a conclusion that one
person’s death was a result of the direct actions of another person, most
likely in an episode of interpersonal violence. In Patrick’s case, because
he has not been found and no post-mortem examination has been conducted, the
available evidence does not allow for any further conclusion to be made as
to the cause of his death. It should also be noted that, having regard to
the limited evidence already described above, there is insufficient evidence
to enliven the application of section 78(1)(b) of the Act.
the available evidence only allows for open findings to be made in answer to
each of the questions as to the place of Patrick’s death, and the cause of
his death. In making these findings it is acknowledged that the
unavailability of sufficient evidence to allow for more precise conclusions
will only add to the uncertainty that those closest to Patrick have
experienced over a number of years.
10.1 Before turning to the
findings that I am required to make, I would like to acknowledge and express
my thanks to Mr Tim O’Donnell, Coronial Advocate, for his assistance both
before, and during, the inquest. I also thank Detective Senior Constable
McLeod for his role in leading the missing person investigation and for
compiling the brief of evidence.
10.2 The findings that I make under section
81(1) of the Act are:
Identity The person who died was Patrick Kear.
death Patrick died on a date unknown sometime on or after 11 January 2016.
Place of death The available evidence does not allow for any finding to be
made as to the place of Patrick’s death.
Cause of death The available
evidence and the absence of any postmortem examination does not allow for
any finding to be made as to the cause of Patrick’s death.
Manner of death
Patrick died as a result of homicide, although the available evidence does
not allow for any more precise finding to be made as to the manner of his
13.1 On behalf of the Coroner’s Court of New South Wales I extend my
sincere and respectful condolences to Patrick’s family and in particular to
his sister, Catherine. The conclusion of an inquest is the end of only one
part of an overall experience which family members of a missing person will
continue to endure until further information about the missing person is,
hopefully, found. However, it is hoped that the inquest and coronial process
has been of assistance in some small way to those closest to Patrick.
close this inquest.
Magistrate Derek Lee
Deputy State Coroner
6 August 2020
Coroner’s Court of NSW