Two women charged over an attack on a service station customer who died after she was allegedly doused in scalding hot coffee and assaulted will not face manslaughter charges.
Andrea Madigan and Sarah Franklin, both aged 51 at the time, were due to face court last year on charges of reckless conduct causing serious injury over the February 8 incident inside a 7-Eleven service station in Caulfield, in Melbourne‘s south-east.
Daily Mail Australia reported those charges were struck out and finalised on May 5 last year with a view to them being upgraded by Victoria Police to manslaughter.
Daily Mail Australia can now reveal forensics experts with Victoria Police were unable to determine how the woman died.
The forensic investigation was finalised just last month – more than a year after the woman died.
A police source said the woman’s body had been riddled with serious health complications, which more than likely caused her death.
Madigan and Franklin are now both expected to be charged and prosecuted over their initial assault charges.
Daily Mail Australia was told the victim had become abusive moments before she was allegedly doused in hot coffee and assaulted by Madigan and Franklin.
‘She was being racist,’ a source told Daily Mail Australia at the time.
Shop owners along Hawthorn Rd, where the 7-Eleven is positioned, claimed all three of the Caulfield women were well known to each other.
One witness described the ‘assault’ alleged against Madigan and Franklin as more like a ‘scuffle’.
Both of the alleged offenders had a clean criminal history until the deadly scuffle.
They were charged by Victoria Police detectives that night and released on bail from the watch house despite the victim’s status being listed as critical.
Those that claimed to know both of the accused described them as being ‘kind and courteous’.
‘They’re nice. They’re polite. We see them all the time. They behave, they have nice manners,’ one woman said.
Others expressed dismay at suggestions the alleged fight might have been sparked by racial slurs.
Caulfield is known for its large Jewish community, representing about half of Melbourne’s Jewish population.
‘I don’t think it (the alleged offence) had any connection to race or culture,’ a local shopkeeper said.
Recklessly causing serious injury charges in Victoria carry a maximum jail sentence of 15 years compared to 20 years for manslaughter.
Witnesses have told police a woman poured coffee over the victim and assaulted her before fleeing the scene on Hawthorn Road.
Extracted in full from: Twist in case of 7-Eleven customer who died after being ‘doused in hot coffee’ in Caulfield | Daily Mail Online