‘We will never give up, we know exactly what happened’
The parents of a Lismore man who was killed in a shooting incident more than 20 years ago say they hope 2021 will be the year they finally get justice for their son.
Jeffrey Brooks was 24, newly married and working as a scientist at a crayfish farm in Beenleigh in 1996 when he was found dead in his car, killed by a gunshot.
At the time, police ruled it was a self-inflicted accident.
But his parents, Lawrie and Wendy Brooks, have never believed that theory and have been fighting for the truth to come out ever since.
An investigation by The Courier-Mail, which included the commissioning of ballistic tests, consultation with international forensic experts and tracking down and interviewing key witnesses, also shed grave doubt on the police determination.
Finally, in 2018, the Attorney-General directed the Coroner to open the case.
But the Brooks are still waiting for answers.
"There have been so many 'hold ups' since we were given notice that the Attorney-General had directed the Queensland State Coroner to reopen Jeffrey's case," the family posted in a notice on their Justice for Jeffrey Facebook page recently.
"First was the waiting for legislation to be changed to make it compulsory for those called to give evidence to have to answer relevant questions.
"This happened on May 22, 2019 … the cold case homicide squad was then called in to investigate and report to the coroner.
"On July 13, 2020, Jeffrey's file was then transferred to the Deputy State Coroner to undertake a thorough review and obtain all records.
"Recently, the Deputy Coroner's Assisting Counsel has moved to Brisbane, so in the new year, another Assisting Coroner will be assigned.
"They have suggested we have a meeting towards the end of January.
"So as you can see our patience has been sorely tested this year.
"We will never give up, as we believe we know exactly what happened and the perpetrators of this heinous crime need to be made accountable.
"Our resolve is stronger to get justice for Jeffrey."