Candice Locke, 31, had recently moved to Alva Beach, Queensland from Sydney and hooked up with volunteer firefighter Tom Davy, 27, on a dating app.
The two had spent the day drinking together at the beach when they met Louis Bengoa and Corey Christensen, 37, who invited them to a local NRL Grand Final party.
But during the match, Davey and Locke had an argument and he left the party to sit in his car.
Other people at the party said they saw Bengoa apparently then move in on Locke and the pair later left to go for a drive in Bengoa’s buggy.
During the drive along the beach, Locke fell from Bengoa’s Polaris ATV and badly injured her shoulder. So we think.
At first, she told police and medics that Bengoa had pushed her out of the vehicle, but later said she simply fell and blamed being drunk for her first version of events.
Bengoa initially denied she had fallen at all, then later backtracked and said she had fallen but insisted she had been ‘doing a Titanic’ at the back of the buggy and fell off.
But when Locke tried to get Bengoa to get her medical attention, the night escalated way out of control.
Bengoa refused to seek medical help because he wanted to avoid police charging him for driving while drunk.
After he refused, she ran and hid from Bengoa, who then got Christensen to join the hunt. At this time Locke fled to the first home she could find which was Dean Webber’s, a 19-year-old young air force cadet.
Webber had only earlier returned from another Grand Final party and had fallen asleep on the couch when Locke woke him by banging on his sliding glass door begging to be let in.
She told him that she was thrown out of the buggy by ‘crazy’ Louis Bengoa and was being hunted by two men who were ‘psycho’.
Webber immediately let her in and tended to her injuries with ice on her shoulder while calling an ambulance for her.
Meanwhile, Bengoa had found Davey to get him involved as well. The coroner would say later that she believes he lied to Davey to get him to do whatever it took to find Locke.
Moments later the three of them were battering at the door, threatening 19-year-old Webber and trying to force their way in.
At this stage, Webber was on the phone to the ambulance service for more than 12 minutes when the men arrived and could be heard telling them to get off his property.
Ambulance call centre workers escalated the call to police as urgent, but the pleas for assistance were oddly dismissed.
Paramedics were sent to the scene and waited at a safe distance for police assistance, but police would eventually turn up too late.
During a second Triple-0 call – 25 minutes after the first call, the young air force cadet begged for police help as he said men were trying to get into his home.
But bizarrely the officer taking the call, Senior Constable Luke Weiks accused Webber and Locke of lying, telling them: ‘You’ve already spoken so much s*** to me.’
He told them ‘bye’ and the call ended after 4 minutes 40 seconds with Ms Locke screaming in the background.
At 12.56 – as the Triple-0 call ended – the three men outside pulled the sliding glass door off its rail and burst into the darkened room.
Christensen and Davy burst in and attacked Webber, punching him in the face and he lashed out at them with the knife he was holding.
He stabbed Christensen twice and Davy several times in the frantic fight in the dark.
They both staggered out to the road – with Davy managing to start a call for an ambulance – before both collapsed, dying in pools of blood.
Inside the home, Webber again phoned Triple-0 to say he had just stabbed ‘a bloke who broke into my house’
‘There’s three assailants, big blokes, males’ and he thinks he’s ‘killed him,’ he said.
He added: ‘I’m scared. The other guy’s going to kill me. I don’t want to die.’
Police finally took the call seriously, but the two officers available were now at a Justice of the Peace trying to get a bail refusal form signed for a separate matter.
But instead of going straight to the scene, the officers returned to their police station in Ayr first so one could pick up his ‘accouterments’ before attending.
Police and medics finally reached the scene at 1:17 am – 51 minutes after the first Triple-0 call – to find Davey and Christensen still alive, but close to death.
They both died at the scene. Specialists told the inquest only immediate hospital treatment could have saved them after they were stabbed.
Webber was found to have been in genuine fear for his life and acting in self-defence when he stabbed the two men. He has not been charged with the deaths.
‘I accept that Detective Sergeant Gavin Neal’s initial decision not to charge Webber in the early days of the investigation was based on the evidence available.
Bentley found the experienced officer had determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Webber.
‘I find that he exercised his discretion appropriately,’ she said.
As for Louis Bengoa, he has never been charged over his role in the night’s events.
He was slammed by the coroner for his ‘self-serving version of events that was inconsistent with his later statements.’.
‘Mr Bengoa is the only person who might have been able to give an account of the events that occurred,’ she said.
‘Unfortunately, Mr Bengoa was an unreliable and unhelpful witness.’
She added: ‘Throughout the investigation and his evidence at the inquest he minimized his own conduct as much as possible.
‘Had Mr Bengoa genuinely been concerned for the wellbeing of Ms Locke all he had to do was knock on Mr Webber’s door and calmly explain that he was worried about her shoulder injury and wished to ensure she was safe.
‘Presumably, Mr Webber would have told him that he had called an ambulance and he could have left.’
Ms Bentley was also upset about the delayed police response.
One officer told the inquest that paramedics would hold off going to a location until they had police ‘to hold their hand for most jobs’ which the coroner said was untrue.
She said that the decision to get the bail affidavit signed by the JP over-responding to the first Triple-O call had cost the lives of Davy and Christensen.
‘The QPS response was inadequate as prioritizing the objection to bail represented an unacceptable delay,’ she said.
‘If QPS officers had responded to [the] incident first, it is possible they could have arrived at Alva Beach by 12.55 am, prior to the stabbing and it is likely that neither of the deaths would have occurred.
‘The deaths of Mr Christensen and Mr Davy would have been prevented had police officers and/or QAS personnel arrived at the house prior to them entering the house.’
‘Had (police) gone to Mr Webber’s residence on being advised of the matter it is highly likely that the situation would have been defused immediately and two lives saved.’
Suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder, Mr Webber was excused from giving testimony during the week-long inquest earlier this year.
A lawyer representing Christensen’s widow Jayne asked for time for the family to consider the findings.
‘We’ve just been given the decision which is obviously 55 pages long,’ Nick Dore said.
‘There’s a lot to digest and consider. Jayne just asked on her behalf to thank everyone who’s supported her throughout this whole process.’