Coroner Finds No One Could Have Foreseen Or Prevented Luke Batty’s Death

His name has become synonymous with the horrors of domestic violence, and his mother’s – Rosie Batty – with the plight of victims Australia-wide.

Today, nine months after witnesses concluded giving evidence at the coronial inquest, the February 2014 death of Luke Batty has been brought to a close – at least in legal terms. 
Victoria‘s state coroner Judge Ian Gray‘s report on the 11-year-old’s murder by his estranged and mentally-ill father, Greg Anderson, at cricket practice found that no one person, or entity, could have foreseen the tragedy.
He told the packed courtroom:
“While it is tempting with hindsight to regard Luke’s death as foreseeable because of the way he behaved towards Ms Batty and others I conclude based on the evidence that Luke’s death was not reasonably foreseeable by any entity or person, including Ms Batty.

“No one person or agency could have reasonably been expected to foresee Mr Anderson would be that rare perpetrator and Luke that rare victim of a violent event.

“Mr Anderson and Mr Anderson alone was responsible for Luke’s death.”
While Judge Gray ruled it didn’t directly contribute to Luke’s death, he did note the flaws in Victoria’s family violence system; Greg assaulted his estranged wife in 2012 but wasn’t formally charged until early 2013, and such delays by the justice system could contribute to an escalating risk of violence.
There was also no formal diagnosis of Greg’s mental health before the attack, despite repeated instances of psychological and physical abuse against his son and his wife, which is in itself grossly unsatisfactory.
“A central lesson from this case” was that every opportunity to engage with men who were potentially dangerous should be taken, he said.
The coroner praised Rosie – who sat with family and friends, holding a photo of her son – for her strength of character throughout the inquest and called her a “loving mother”.
She’s been a tireless advocate for women and children affected by family violence since her son’s death, establishing The Luke Batty Foundation in his honour. 
Just last week she gave an emotional speech praising the Turnbull Government‘s announcement of a $100 million funding package to help curb domestic violence in Australia.
RIP Luke.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, calls can be made 24 hours a day on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line, or to Lifeline on 131 114.