The West

The sentencing of a man who had a murder charge against him dropped because of several police bungles, including not using an interpreter in police interviews, has been postponed - because Supreme Court officials forgot to order an interpreter.

In an ironic twist to an already tragic case, the Supreme Court sentencing hearing of Gene Gibson was put off because a Pintibi speaker was not ordered to aid Gibson in court, and one could not be found at short notice.

Gibson had been due to face sentence over the killing of Josh Warneke, 21, who died while walking home from a night out drinking with his friends in Broome on February 26, 2010

He was assaulted on Old Broome Road, sustaining fatal head injuries.

After more than two years, Gibson was charged with Mr Warneke's murder. But the charge was downgraded earlier this year after police interviews were deemed inadmissible.

In 2012, police investigators interviewed Gibson, a resident of the Kiwirrkurra Community in the Gibson Desert.

They had decided to treat Gibson as a witness, so he was not initially arrested or cautioned, the interview was not recorded and he was not told at the outset of his right to silence.

Despite English being his second language, an interpreter was not used.

In court today, Justice Lindy Jenkins also ruled that Mr Warneke's mother Ingrid Bishop will not be allowed to read her victim impact statement in court, saying she feared she would not be able to control her emotions.

"I will not have my court turned into a theatre," Justice Jenkins said.

The case will return to court tomorrow.

The West Australian

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