ALLEGATIONS OF VIOLENCE: Craig Dawes faced accusations of family violence during yesterday?s coronial inquest
ALLEGATIONS OF VIOLENCE: Craig Dawes faced accusations of family violence during yesterday?s coronial inquest

Father denies inquest 'bully' claims

By DAWN COHEN

CRAIG DAWES was accused of committing violent acts against his family during the coronial inquest yesterday into the death of his son, Jason Dawes.

Ballina social worker Sharlene Hargrave told the court she made a child protection notification for Jason Dawes to the NSW Department of Community Services (DOCS) four years before the severely autistic 10-year-old was killed by his mother, Daniela Dawes, on August 4, 2003.

She was concerned for Ms Dawes and her children.

Ms Dawes had made a domestic violence complaint against her husband, Craig, Ms Hargrave said. Daniela Dawes also told her social worker that Craig had hit her in the face prior to 1992, when Jason was born.

Heidi Craig, an occupational therapist for the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADEC), said she was aware of the domestic violence issues.

She said she believed Craig Dawes to be a bully.

Kim Kendall, a social worker with the Northern Rivers Area Health Service, saw Daniela for eight sessions of domestic violence counselling.

On Monday, Sgt Dempsey, the police officer in charge of the investigation into Jason's murder, told the court that a report made by Ms Dawes to DOCS noted that Mr Dawes was receiving funding from DADEC for counselling to help him control his violence.

However, Sgt Dempsey confirmed there were no police reports of domestic violence.

Allegations of domestic violence were challenged by Craig Dawes' barrister, Ian McKay.

None of the health practitioners witnessed any domestic violence directly. Ms Kendall never saw any bruises.

The inquest has been adjourned to Sydney, so that DADEC and DOCS representatives can give evidence about services Jason received in the city where he spent his last two years.

However, the hearing will not resume until the end of the year because of time restraints on Deputy State Coroner Carl Milovanovich's schedule.



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