Two men were likely stabbed to death after a drunken buggy driver convinced them to storm an innocent teenager’s home to avoid him getting in trouble for drink driving, a coroner has found.
The pair, with blood alcohol levels of 0.53 and 0.21, ripped a sliding door off its tracks and burst into the home of Dean Webber, then 19.
Mr Webber was sheltering a hysterical and injured Candice Locke, then 31, in the dark holiday home and blindly struck out with a kitchen knife when they threw him to the floor and started punching him.
She had come from an alcohol-fuelled beach party, where she had fallen off Louis Bengoa’s buggy and ran away to seek help.
The coroner found that in an attempt to avoid getting in trouble with police, Mr Bengoa had urged the two men to track her down, likely telling them she was ‘in danger’ in the teen’s house.
A drunken date turned deadly when Candice Locke (pictured) was injured during a beach buggy ride and then hid in a nearby home while waiting for an ambulance
Teenager Dean Webber (pictured) was asleep on the couch when he was woken by Ms Locke begging to get in away from the ‘crazy’ ‘psychos’ hunting her, the inquest heard
‘It is likely that Mr Bengoa was very anxious that the police not be called due to the circumstances of her being injured when he was driving the buggy,’ Coroner Jane Bentley said on Wednesday.
‘Mr Bengoa did not want anyone to know that Ms Locke had hurt her shoulder while he was driving her in the buggy.
‘It is likely that he was concerned that he would face consequences for driving her in the buggy whilst he was significantly intoxicated and during which she suffered an injury.’
Both Mr Davy and Mr Christensen suffered mortal stab wounds and staggered outside where they collapsed and died about 1am on October 1.
The young air force cadet, weighing just 57kg compared to the 133kg Mr Davy and 83kg Mr Christensen, was never charged with any crime.
Coroner Jane Bentley handed down her findings on Wednesday, ruling Mr Webber was genuinely in fear of his life and backing a police decision not to charge the teenager.
‘His fear was caused by Ms Locke appearing injured at his house in the middle of the night and telling him males outside his property wanted to get her,’ she said.
Tom Davey (pictured) had earlier been on a date with Ms Locke before they went an NRL Grand Final party and was later persuaded to join the hunt for her
Corey Christensen (pictured) and Mr Davey were stabbed to death by Mr webber after they ripped off his glass sliding door and burst into his home hunting Ms Locke
‘His fear was compounded when the three men refused to leave his property and then began trying to get into the house.’
She also slammed the ‘unacceptable’ 51 minute delay in police arriving at the scene despite three Triple-0 calls from Mr Webber and Ms Locke.
Instead of rushing to the scene, local cops were filling out mundane paperwork and one officer swore at the pair, called them liars before hanging up on them.
Why the two men stormed into Mr Webber’s home to find Ms Locke and viciously attacked the teenager has never been properly explained.
Louis Bengoa (pictured) was slammed by the coroner for his ‘self-serving version of events that was inconsistent with his later statements.’
Mr Webber called an ambulance for Candice Locke (pictured) at 12.26am but it was 51 minutes later before police or medics arrived at the scene
The third man, Mr Bengoa, could have finally answered the crucial question, but Ms Bentley accused him in her findings of telling ‘self-serving’ lies to the police to cover up his involvement.
The inquest heard Ms Locke had recently moved to the area from Sydney and hooked up with volunteer firefighter Mr Davey on a dating app.
They had spent the day drinking together at the beach when they met Mr Bengoa and Mr Christensen who invited them to the local NRL Grand Final party.
But during the match, Mr Davey and Ms Locke had a row over her drinking and behaviour and he left the party to sit in his car.
Candice Locke (pictured) repeatedly said she had been pushed out the buggy by Louis Bengoa but later changed her story
Other partygoers said they saw Mr Bengoa apparently then move in on Ms Locke and the coroner said the pair later left the party to go for a drive in Mr Bengoa’s buggy, the inquest heard.
But during the drive along the beach, Ms Locke fell from the Polaris ATV and badly injured her shoulder.
She repeatedly told police and medics that Mr Bengoa had pushed her out the vehicle, but later said she simply fell, and blamed being drunk for her first version of events.
Mr 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.
Dean Webber (pictured) said he had never been so scared in his life when the three men were trying to get into his home
But when Ms Locke tried to get Mr Bengoa to get her medical attention, the night escalated out of control.
The coroner found Mr Bengoa had refused because he was probably trying to avoid police charging him for driving while drunk.
After he refused, she ran and hid from Mr Bengoa, who then got Mr Christensen to join the hunt, before Ms Locke fled to the first home she could find which was Mr Webber’s.
He had earlier returned from his own Grand Final party and had fallen asleep on the couch when Ms Locke battered at his sliding glass door begging to get in.
Dean Webber had earlier returned from his own Grand Final party and had fallen asleep on the couch when Ms Locke battered at his sliding glass door begging to get in. He recreated the incident for police, seen here
She told him a terrifying story of being thrown out the buggy by ‘crazy’ Mr Bengoa and was being hunted by two men who were ‘psycho’.
He immediately tried to tend to her injuries with ice on her shoulder while phoning for an ambulance for her.
Meanwhile Mr Bengoa had found Mr Davey to get him involved, and the coroner believes he lied to Mr Davey to get him to do whatever it took to find Ms Locke.
‘It is unknown what Mr Davy was told by Mr Bengoa,’ the coroner said.
Ms Locke and Mr Davey had spent the day drinking together at the beach when they met Mr Bengoa and Mr Christensen who invited them to the local NRL Grand Final party at Alva Beach (pictured)
‘It is unlikely that Mr Bengoa told Mr Davy that Ms Locke had hurt her shoulder falling from the buggy he was driving.
‘Mr Bengoa did not want anyone to know that Ms Locke had hurt her shoulder while he was driving her in the buggy.
‘The likelihood is that Mr Bengoa told Mr Davy something that convinced him that Ms Locke was in danger if she stayed in the house with Mr Webber.
‘It is probable that, due to what he was told by Mr Bengoa, Mr Davy considered that it was necessary as a matter of urgency to remove Ms Locke from the house.’
Corey Christensen (pictured) suffered mortal stab wounds and staggered outside where he collapsed and died, the inquest heard
She added: ‘I find that Mr Bengoa had no interest in Ms Locke’s welfare or concern for her safety.
‘Mr Bengoa had one concern only that night and that was the possibility that he would be in trouble.’
Moments later the three of them were battering at the door, threatening Mr Webber and trying to force their way in.
Mr 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 dismissed.
Paramedics sent to the scene waited at a safe distance for police assistance, but police turned up too late.
Dean 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 over the deaths.
During a second Triple-0 call – 25 minutes after the first call, Mr Weber 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 inexplicably accused Mr Webber and Ms 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.
‘The three just came in and pummelled me and I’ve never been so scared in my life,’ Mr Webber told police as he sobbed during a recreation of the attack.
The coroner found Mr Christensen and Mr Davy burst in and attacked Mr Webber, punching him in the face and he lashed out at them with the knife he was holding.
He stabbed Mr Christensen twice and Mr Davy several times in the frantic fight in the dark.
The coroner found Mr Christensen and Tom Davy (pictured) burst in and attacked Mr Webber, punching him in the face and he lashed out at them with the knife he was holding.
They both staggered out to the road – with Mr Davy managing to start a call for an ambulance – before both collapsed, dying in pools of blood.
Inside the home, Mr 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 ‘accoutrements’ before attending.
Police and medics finally reached the scene at 1:17am – 51 minutes after the first Triple-0 call – to find Mr Davey and Mr 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.
Mr 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 over the deaths.
The coroner found that although the police made the controversial decision just four days after the tragedy, it could have been reconsidered at any time.
‘I accept that Detective Sergeant Gavin Neal’s initial decision not to charge Mr Webber in the early days of the investigation was based on the evidence available.’
Candice Locke (pictured) had recently moved to the area from Sydney and hooked up with volunteer firefighter Tom Davey on a dating app
Ms Bentley found the experienced officer had determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Webber.
‘I find that he exercised his discretion appropriately,’ she said.
But Mr Bengoa has also 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 minimised 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.’
Corey Christensen (pictured) was stabbed in the chest and died from blood loss
Ms Bentley was also scathing 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 affadavit signed by the JP over responding to the first Triple-O call had cost the lives of Mr Davy and Mr Christensen.
‘The QPS response was inadequate as prioritising 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 12.55am, 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.’
A lawyer representing Mr Christensen’s widow Jayne (pictured) asked for time for the family to consider the findings
Suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder, Mr Webber was excused from giving testimony during the week-long inquest earlier this year.
A lawyer representing Mr 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.’