A family member clutched this canvas photo of Tracy Ann Beale in Coroner's Court in Gladstone on April 13, 2018.
A family member clutched this canvas photo of Tracy Ann Beale in Coroner's Court in Gladstone on April 13, 2018.

WATCH: Dead woman's husband says he did not try to resuscitate her

A GLADSTONE man appearing as a witness in the coronial inquest into the death of his wife says he made no effort to resuscitate her on the night she died.

Under oath, James Andrew Beale today told the Coroners Court of Queensland he had been trained in CPR several years before the death of his wife, Tracy Ann Beale, 45, but had never had to administer it in a real-life situation.

Mrs Beale died during the early hours of January 21, 2013.

Her death followed Mr Beale placing her in a chokehold after Mrs Beale, who had been drinking considerably, allegedly struck him multiple times.

From the witness box, Mr Beale said it had not been his intention to harm his wife, but merely to "calm her down" in the midst of an argument about the couple's finances.

Demonstrating to the court the tight v-shaped grip he'd had on his wife's neck, Mr Beale said he "held her there for only a few seconds (before) she went limp".

Operating in panic mode, Mr Beale then called 000.

"My wife started bashing me up, I tried to hold her down," he said to the call centre operator.

Barrister for Mrs Beale's family Michael Anderson said Mrs Beale was struggling and "thrashing around" before she lost conciousness.

Everything happened so quick," Mr Beale said.

In June 2016, Coroner David O'Connell's decision to hold an inquest into Mrs Beale's death was granted, despite Mr Beale's argument against in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

At that time, Justice David Jackson dismissed Mr Beale's argument and said Mr O'Connell had acted within the law when establishing an inquest.

Dr Alex Olumbe, who performed the autopsy on Mrs Beale found the victim had a pre-existing heart condition, possibly caused by alcohol abuse or genetic or viral reasons.

TRAGIC: Emotions ran high on the final day of the coronial inquest into Tracy Ann Beale's 2013 death.
TRAGIC: Emotions ran high on the final day of the coronial inquest into Tracy Ann Beale's 2013 death. Sarah Steger

In today's inquest John Aberdeen, who was a member of counsel assisting the Coroner, asked Mr Beale why he hadn't tried to resuscitate his wife the night she died.

Mr Beale replied that he "just went into a state of shock".

I thought she was passed out from alcohol," he said.

Mrs Beale was lying face-down on the floor when the first emergency services worker arrived.

Witness Ellen Therese O'Connell, who was a QAS student at the time of the incident, was the first paramedic on scene on the night.

In a statement she made the following day, Ms O'Connell said when she arrived police were already there, doing CPR on the patient.

Sergeant Lawton today told the court he rolled Mrs Beale off her face and onto her back before trying to resuscitate her.

Tracy Ann Beale's brother Gavin Loakes said he and his family were after justice and hoped the coronial inquiry into Tracy's 2013 death which kicked off in Gladstone today would provide them with the answers they've been looking for.
Tracy Ann Beale's brother Gavin Loakes said he and his family were after justice and hoped the coronial inquiry into Tracy's 2013 death which kicked off in Gladstone today would provide them with the answers they've been looking for. Sarah Steger

Attempts to revive her continued for more than 30 minutes before she was pronounced dead.

Mr Beale was acquitted for murder charges in 2013 and later accused of manslaughter. However, these charges were dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2014.

Background:

Issues up for consideration at the inquest include how Mrs Beale, 45, died when a chokehold was applied by Mr Beale, whether it was due to asphyxiation or vasogvagal attack (reflex cardiac arrest) and whether other causes, such as alcohol consumption and pre-existing disease of the heart muscle, contributed to some degree.

The inquest will also consider whether there is a need for public education about dangers of some forms of neck compression or restraint and whether a recommendation should be made to the Attorney-General to treat neck compression or restraint in a similar way to one punch strike deaths.

 


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