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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Demands for fresh coronial inquiry into the death of Mark Anthony Haines

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Mark Anthony Haines.

On the 35th anniversary of his passing NSW Parliament Upper House member Sue Higginson will visit Tamworth to join Don Craigie and the family of Mark Anthony Haines in their call for a fresh coronial inquiry to establish the truth of his mysterious death 35 years ago.

Haines was found on train tracks 8km south of Tamworth on January 16, 1988 and investigations at the time have since been exposed as completely inadequate.

Uncle Don Craigie has provided the following comments said that after 35 years, there are still no answers to the mysterious death of the 17-year-old Aboriginal boy.

Found dead on railway tracks

‘He was found dead on the railway tracks While the Country celebrated the 200th Bicentenary of Australia, Our boy Mark was lying in the Tamworth morgue waiting for a second autopsy to be performed on him.

Uncle Don said his family had to ask for this to make sure nothing had been missed. ‘The investigation that was conducted into his death has been shown to be completely inadequate and we cannot get the answers or the closure that we need until this is resolved.

‘This has taken too long; we needed this fresh investigation by the coroner to examine the evidence and all of the witnesses that are still around. With a fresh coronial inquiry and subsequent investigations by the Tamworth Local Command and the state homicide squad, we are hopeful that those investigations may shed light on exactly what happened to Mark.

Family grieving for 35 years 

‘We have been grieving for 35 years and we will continue to grieve for the loss of Mark.

Uncle Don says that his family maintains that Mark has met with foul play. ‘That was our position 35 years ago and subsequently, nothing has changed our minds. What we are seeking is the truth of what happened to Mark,

‘I would like to thank everyone that has stood with us and beside us through these many years in our struggle for the truth about Mark’s death to be brought to light. We just want to know the truth of what has happened to Mark, “our boy”.’

There will be a media event outside the Tamworth Police Station at 10 am today. In attendance will be Sue Higginson MLC, Don Craigie and family members of Mark Haines.


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