News

Woods mystery may be solved

Gavin Woods
Gavin Woods contributed

THE mystery surrounding the death of Burpengary State School deputy principal Gavin Woods finally might be unravelled.

The 46-year-old Wamuran teacher went missing in June last year with police media statements saying the family man's disappearance was considered out of character.

His body was found in bushland near his home two weeks later. 

Regional Coroner Ray Rinaudo now has been appointed to investigate Mr Woods' death.

Mr Rinaudo, who specialised in dispute resolution during his legal career until he was appointed a magistrate in 2005, has served as a commissioner with the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The decision to hold an inquest came after the State Coroner's office received a workplace, health and safety investigation report this month.

The state can order an inquest into matters were a death occurred in suspicious circumstances, where the death was an unnatural such as accident, falls, suicides or drug overdoses, or other circumstances.

Police labelled Mr Woods' death as "not suspicious" at the time.

"If a coroner decides to hold an inquest the coroner can make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths in the future," the Queensland Courts website reads.

"Coronial investigations do not focus on laying blame or assigning liability for the death."

The Burpengary school has faced controversy and confusion since a month after Mr Woods' body was found.

Mr Woods' death, followed by the unexplained absences of the three senior staff members, have affected the morale of all the students, teachers and parents who are connected with the Burpengary school.

Burpengary principal Paula Passi and two deputy principals Roxie Borserini and Ken Ruhle were stood down in July last year.

The Education Department said allegations surrounding the staff members were "strictly confidential" but, in January, the department announced it would consider disciplinary action against the two deputy principals following a CMC review of the department's investigation.

An investigation into allegations against Ms Passi is ongoing.

The three staff were suspended on full pay.

A date has not been set yet for the inquest.

Topics:  burpengary state school, gavin woods, mystery


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