South Western Times
Tragic dad’s lonely wait
Three years on, Aaron Cockman still has no answers why his family were killed
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.