Claim over cult founder's death defeated

Margaret Scheikowski
Janice Hamilton has lost her lawsuit against NSW Police over Ken Dyers' death

A woman who claimed police had determined her partner was the "pedophile leader of a cult" before he killed himself has lost her lawsuit against the state of NSW.

Janice Rita Hamilton, who witnessed Kenneth Emmanuel Dyers's death in 2007, sued claiming damages for "misfeasance in public office".

Dyers, 85, killed himself after being told a detective had written to his solicitor inviting him to be interviewed about numerous sexual assault allegations.

He was a co-founder of the so-called spiritual healing group Kenja.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Michael Walton rejected Ms Hamilton's claim that the letter was sent with an actual intention of causing harm to Mr Dyers and herself.

She had contended that the letter was "the final, malicious step" taken in an investigation that was carried out in a "highly improper manner".

"The sending of a letter by a police officer carrying out an investigation into alleged criminal activity is ordinarily an exercise of existing public power that falls within its scope," the judge said.

The relevant actions of the then-detective were "an exercise of that public power".

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