Alastair Hope has criticised both the Western Australian Police and the state’s Justice Department for failing to act on the case.

The 25-year-old victim disappeared on Christmas Eve 1994 while serving a magistrate’s probation order at Gilroyd Station, 250 kilometres south-east of Carnarvon.

Three years later, his burnt clothes and personal documents were found at a remote part of the station by a jackaroo.

The same jackaroo came upon the man’s remains lying by a road near the station in 1998.

Carnarvon-based Detective Sergeant Patrick Doyle was then placed in charge of the case until it was handed over to Detective Sergeant Gary Saunders in 2002.

“The fact that Detective Sergeant Doyle… had carriage of the file for most of that four year period and did almost nothing in spite of repeated requests… is remarkable,” Mr Hope said.

The coroner also questioned the wider police system for failing to address the lack of action in carrying out the investigation.

“His (Det-Sgt Doyle) performance in respect of this case raises questions as to how well the police exercise quality control in respect of investigations conducted by detectives in country regions.”

Det-Sgt Saunders reviewed the case and identified several pieces of evidence which led to the suspicion that the aboriginal man had been murdered by the former station manager, William Ryan.

Mr Ryan, 50, had been the victim’s supervisor and in 2002 was charged with his murder.

However, Mr Ryan was acquitted of the charge by a Supreme Court jury last year.

Mr Ryan’s brother, Andrew, was also acquitted of being an accessary by the judge’s direction.

“It appeared clear at the inquest the deceased died as a result of unlawful homicide and that those responsible for his death are unlikely to ever face punishment,” Mr Hope said.

Criticism was also levelled at Western Australia’s Justice Department which Mr Hope said had failed in its duty of care by placing the victim in a remote station without checking its suitability.

Following the ruling the foster father of the deceased, Martin Corrigan, said the coroner’s comments were some comfort.

“We are happy with what the coroner has said, very happy, and we just hope now that the police department act on some of his recommendations,” Mr Corrigan said.

Detective Doyle is facing internal disciplinary measures and is still serving as a police officer.

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