WE REMEMBER: Wheels of justice in motion, at last
THE horrific scene I encountered on the isolated sands of Ten Mile Beach, between Evans Head and Iluka, wasn't calmed by the harmonic resonance of a random fisherman's tyres on his four-wheel-drive carving through the sand, chiming in with the peaceful crashing of the waves on the shore.
It was a picture-perfect day when I got a phone call about a woman's body found near Black Rocks camping ground, on Ten Mile Beach north of Iluka, on January 27, 2011.
Little did I know it would take the wheels of justice five years to come to terms with the case.
Not much more efficient than my APN Toyota Yaris, a vehicle incapable of tackling more than 10 metres of sand, let alone more than 11 kilometres.
Fingers crossed, I hoped I would see a local I knew, and fortunately a fisherman came to the start of the sand track onto the beach, kindly agreeing to drive me as far as possible.
After a careful drive to what was an exclusion zone of about 150 metres, made clear by police, I could see a white sheet draped over what appeared to be a body, covered by a quick-shade, surrounded by several police, State Emergency Services and unmarked four-wheel-drives.
It was then the gravity of what allegedly happened on Australia Day between mother-of-seven Lynette "Norma" Daley, 33, her partner Adrian Attwater, and Paul Maris, began to hit hard.
A Coronial inquiry subsequently found Ms Daley bled to death due to blunt force trauma.
I spent two-and-a-half hours on Ten Mile Beach, observing, probing police with questions and taking photos.
All the while, forensics officers were examining areas between Ms Daley's body and the dunes, taking samples of sand and what they possibly contained.
From where I was standing, this was being considered as a case of more than just a person who drowned on the beach.
Finally last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered an independent review into the case following a groundswell of support for justice after the story aired on ABC television's Four Corners program.
The DPP will review its own decision not to press charges in this case.