The West

Pain goes on for grieving mother
More grief: Ingrid Bishop. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Ingrid Bishop waited two years for police to arrest someone over the death of her son Josh Warneke.

Then she had to wait another two years for Gene Gibson to be brought to court to face an allegation of murder over Josh's death - only for the charge to be downgraded weeks before the trial because of a string of police bungles.

Now, Ms Bishop has been forced to wait again, after two days in a row WA's Supreme Court was unable to get an interpreter for Gibson, who speaks the Western Desert dialect of Pintibi.

It was the failure of WA Police to use an interpreter while questioning Gibson in 2012 that partly led to a murder charge being scrapped last month.

Last night, Ms Bishop vented her frustration at another blunder, which saw the sentencing hearing put off until October, leaving her family still waiting for justice.

"I'm quite speechless really - to have it delayed for the reasons it has been delayed is just prolonging the pain and the grief," Ms Bishop said.

"I truly believe our role in this is not being acknowledged.

"We just want it to end so we can move on."

Mr Warneke, 21, died while walking home from a night out with friends in Broome on February 26, 2010.

He was attacked and left in the gutter of Old Broome Road with fatal head injuries. After more than two years, Gibson was charged with Mr Warneke's murder, having been interviewed without an interpreter present despite English being his second language.

That, along with other flaws in the evidence, made the police interviews inadmissible according to one judge, prompting prosecutors to downgrade the charge to manslaughter, to which Gibson pleaded guilty.

In another blow to Ms Bishop, Justice Lindy Jenkins ruled the grieving mother would not be allowed to read her victim impact statement in court, for fear she would be unable to control her emotions.

"More bungles, more delays, more incompetence and more grief," Josh's brother Matt said outside court.

The West Australian

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