News State NSW News Jury takes less than an hour to convict two men over Daley’s violent death

Jury takes less than an hour to convict two men over Daley’s violent death

lynette daley murder
Lynette Daley died of internal bleeding after being sexually assaulted. Photo: Supplied/ABC
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Two men have been found guilty over the death of Lynette Daley, whose naked body was found bruised and bloodied after a boozy 2011 camping trip to a remote beach in northern New South Wales.

After listening to weeks of evidence and cross-examination, a jury at the Supreme Court in Coffs Harbour deliberated for less than an hour before convicting Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris.

Attwater, 42, was found guilty of manslaughter and 47-year-old Maris was found guilty of hiding evidence.

Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris
Adrian Attwater (L) and Paul Maris have been found guilty of aggravated sexual assault. Photo: AAP

Both men were also found guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

Ms Daley, 33, was assaulted on a drunken Australia Day camping trip Ten Mile Beach near Iluka.

An autopsy later found she died from blunt force genital tract trauma.

During the trial, the prosecution said Ms Daley’s severe internal and external lacerations were caused by violent sexual activity.

Crown prosecutor Philip Strickland SC told the court Ms Daley had lacerations in and around her vagina.

The men claimed Ms Daley died of a seizure during a swim, but the Crown said she bled to death from a sexual act she did not consent to, and the men waited too long before calling an ambulance.

Four Corners investigation influential

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions twice declined to prosecute the two long-time suspects in Ms Daley’s death – decisions her family and supporters criticised.

In 2011, Attwater was charged at the time with manslaughter over her death, and Maris was charged with being an accessory, but the charges were later dropped.

Interior of car investigated after Lynette Daley's death
The interior of a car investigated after the death of Lynette Daley. Photo: Supplied/ABC

However, a Four Corners report in May 2016 was a significant milestone in the investigation.

That story prompted an independent review of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute the two suspects.

They were charged the following month.

At the time, then-NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said the death of Ms Daley was “truly awful”.