Sorry history: Delay ‘disrespectful’
THE family of backpacker Theo Hayez, who went missing in the tourist hotspot of Byron Bay more than three years ago, is set to fly to Australia to attend an inquest into his disappearance.
Belgian national Mr Hayez was just 18 when he vanished after leaving the popular Cheeky Monkeys bar at 11pm on May 31, 2019.
CCTV and mobile phone data captured his initial movements but he has not been seen since. On Friday, the Lidcombe Coroner’s Court heard his parents Vinciane Delforge and Laurent Hayez planned to travel to Byron Bay in November for the start of the inquest.
The court had written a letter of support for the family to assist them in entering the country amid uncertainty over border restrictions and international travel.
Theo Hayez’s godfather JeanPhilippe Pector, who lives in Victoria, is also set to attend the hearing to start on November 29. Counsel assisting the coroner Kirsten Edwards told the court there was still a large amount of outstanding material in the case that had not been finalised.
She expressed frustration at what she called a “sorry history” of delays in the case, saying it was unacceptable to still be waiting for material three years later.
State Coroner Teresa O’connor said failures to meet deadlines also disrespected Theo’s family.