Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Commerce

    State Government awards compensation to Gene Gibson

    18/04/2018 12:45 PM
    • $1.5 million allocated for compensation to Gene Gibson who was wrongfully convicted of the manslaughter of Josh Warneke 

    The McGowan Labor Government will make a compensation payment in the sum of $1.3 million to Mr Gene Gibson.  


    Mr Gibson is a young indigenous man from the remote community of Kiwirrkurra, who was convicted on his plea of guilty to manslaughter of Joshua Warneke in Broome in 2010.


    After Mr Gibson had been sentenced, the police investigation into the death of Mr Warneke was the subject of three reviews.  


    The police investigation which led to the prosecution and conviction of Mr Gibson for manslaughter was found to be flawed.  


    Mr Gibson served about four years and eight months in prison before the Court of Appeal set aside that conviction and acquitted Mr Gibson of the charge in April last year.   


    The total allocation for the payment is $1.5 million.  


    $1.3 million will be paid into a trust to be administered by the Public Trustee, and an additional $200,000 will be set aside for management fees to be incurred by the Public Trustee in the administration of that trust.  


    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:  


    "The State makes this payment in recognition of the miscarriage of justice suffered by Mr Gibson.   


    "In making this payment, the State has taken into account the flaws in the investigation, Mr Gibson's vulnerability, loss of liberty, and the hardship, hurt and loss he would have experienced as a result of his conviction and imprisonment.


    "The State believes that a payment of $1.5 million is appropriate in all of the circumstances and adequately reflects the gravity of the wrong done to Mr Gibson by the State, as well as the fees that will be incurred by the Public Trustee.


    "Given the high incidence of indigenous people who suffer from cognitive disabilities, the McGowan Labor Government is committed to progressing reforms to the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act.


    "Given the longstanding and widely recognised deficiencies with the current legislation and the complex matters addressed in it, we will ensure the reforms are appropriately designed, drafted and implemented.    


    "The suite of reforms, which are under development, will bring WA into line with the rest of Australia and improve human rights standards and procedural fairness."


    Attorney General's office - 6552 6800