19 Mar 2013

Women fight to quash police criticism

6:49 pm on 19 March 2013

The lawyer for two women criticised by a coroner for not calling the police on the night Auckland woman Iraena Asher disappeared wants the High Court to quash the comments.

Bobbie Carroll and Julia Woodhouse picked up a distraught and agitated Ms Asher one night eight years ago, after her calls to the police had gone unheeded.

The women took the agitated and distraught Iraena Asher into their Piha home, and looked after her for four hours, before she fled into the night and was never seen again.

A coroner later ruled she walked into the sea and drowned, and said the actions of Ms Carroll and Ms Woodhouse contributed to her death, and that they should have called the police.

At a judicial review on Tuesday of the coroner's ruling, the women's lawyer Garth Galloway told a judge that the coroner's ruling was unreasonable.

Mr Galloway says despite listening to 25 witnesses, the coroner based his comments on what the police said.

The Coroner wrongly interpreted the evidence, and it was unfair for him to agree with the police position of the case, without challenging it.

The police were criticised at the time for sending Iraena Asher a taxi instead of a patrol car.

The judge has reserved her decision.