Friday, August 9, 2013

Grandfather of Phoebe Handsjuk claims she may have been murdered - Herald Sun

Phoebe Handsjuk was found dead in 2010. Source: Supplied

A SMEAR of blood found in the apartment of Phoebe Handsjuk and bruising on her wrists could indicate she was murdered and did not commit suicide, her grandfather told her inquest.

Ms Handsjuk, 24, was found dead in the refuse room of the Balencia apartment complex in St Kilda Road on December 2, 2010 after falling 12 storeys down the garbage chute.

She was last seen alive at 11.50am that day.

Ms Handsjuk lived at the complex with her boyfriend Antony Hampel, 45, the son of former Supreme Court judge George Hampel and the stepson of current County Court judge Felicity Hampel.

Her grandfather Lorne Campbell, a former senior detective with 34 years police experience, told coroner Peter White he believed police had botched the investigation and hastily ruled the death a suicide.

"I've been concerned about how this case has been mishandled by the homicide squad," Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell conducted experiments on the garbage chute in the months after Phoebe deaths, and concluded it would have been difficult for his intoxicated granddaughter to suicide in that manner.

"Another party must have been involved," he said.

Mr Campbell also said he was suspicious of Ms Handsjuk's boyfriend, and instructed Phoebe's mother Natalie to record a conversation with him in the days after her death.

"I believe he was killed by one of more people," Mr Campbell said. Ms Campbell also said a text message sent to family members from Ms Handsjuk's phone had been fabricated and designed to give the suicide theory plausibility.

Earlier the inquest heard Ms Handsjuk had been unhappy about her relationship with Mr Hampel, and he had taken to locking himself in his home office during arguments and her bouts of drinking.

The inquest continues on Monday.

padraic.murphy@news.com.au

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