Family lodge murder compensation claim
Murder victim Andrea Pickett.

The family of murder victim Andrea Pickett, whose violent death has sparked a landmark legal suit against the state government and the WA Police service, say they may add more agencies to their compensation claim.

A mother of 13 children, Andrea was stabbed to death by her estranged husband Kenneth in 2009 - two months after he was released on parole after threatening to kill his former wife and following several reported breaches of a violence restraining order

A subsequent inquest into Andrea’s death found State Government agencies had failed to put in place a plan to prevent Pickett killing his wife.

Today at the WA District Court, Andrea’s brother Gary Bentley and other family members filed a statement of claim against the government and the police.

The action is demanding both financial compensation and changes to the WA authorities deal with abusive spouses.

And Mr Bentley said he would also like to see Crisis Care, a Government department for child protection and family support, and the Parole Review Board also forced to answer questions.

“We have fought for five years to get here, and we still want them to publicly admit they didn’t do what they should have done,” Mr Bentley said.

“Andrea said many times that she felt he would have to kill her for something to happen – and that is what happened.”

The inquest into Andrea’s death also highlighted that there was nowhere safe for Andrea to go and no effective protection as she sought to escape her violent former husband.

The case is one of several high-profile cases that prompted a review of restraining orders and domestic and family violence legislation by the WA Law Reform Commission.

Her ex-husband is serving a life jail term with a minimum of 20 years for the murder.

The West Australian

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