South Western Times

Tragic dad’s lonely wait

Three years on, Aaron Cockman still has no answers why his family were killed

- DARYNA ZADVIRNA

Time has not eased the pain for Aaron Cockman, the father of four children murdered by their maternal grandfathe­r near Margaret River.

Three years ago on Tuesday, Peter Miles, 61, shot dead Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, 8, their mother Katrina, and his wife, Cynda, before turning the gun on himself at the family’s Osmington hobby farm.

The murder-suicide shook the country and was the worst mass killing in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

Yet Mr Cockman is still waiting for an inquiry into the deaths he believes were preventabl­e.

“Last night when I woke up I had tears in my eyes — I was dreaming that I was crying about the kids,” he said.

“It’s still really fresh . . . it’s like it hasn’t eased off at all. After the kids died, I would’ve thought in a few years time I’m going to feel a lot better . . . even start looking at the kids’ photos.

“Now that three years have passed . . . I actually feel worse, I still cannot look at the photos.”

Mr Cockman said he should not have had to wait this long for the Government to investigat­e what had led to the tragedy and act to ensure it would never happen again.

“I want the kids to be remembered because they were beautiful kids . . . but I believe it didn’t need to happen and it could’ve been prevented,” he said. “I don’t feel like . . . it hasn’t been looked into properly and it’s three years down the track and I think that’s pretty poor.”

In October, Attorney-General John Quigley asked the Community Developmen­t and Justice Standing Committee to hold a formal inquiry after Mr

Now that three years have passed . . . I actually feel worse, I still cannot look at the photos. Aaron Cockman

Cockman was refused a coronial inquest.

The following month, previous committee chairman Peter Katsambani­s wrote in its report that it was a matter “worthy of further investigat­ion” but that there was not enough time until the looming election.

Mr Cockman received a letter from Mr Quigley last week telling him the process to create committees for this term of Parliament has not yet occurred but “will happen soon”.

“As soon as the relevant committee . . . has been reconstitu­ted, I intend to write to it again to request that it conduct an inquiry into the tragic murders,” Mr Quigley wrote.

But Mr Cockman said being made to wait for three years was not good enough.

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Katrina Miles and her four children.
Aaron Cockman Katrina Miles and her four children.

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