– The retired detective grandfather of Phoebe Handsjuk has laid out a case for a coroner, saying why he believes others were involved in her mysterious garbage chute death.
Ms Handsjuk, 24, was found in the garbage room at the Balencea apartment complex in St Kilda Road, between 6:30pm and 7pm on December 2nd, 2012.
She had fallen 12 floors inside a small garbage chute outside the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Antony Hampel, 45, the son of a retired Victorian Supreme Court justice.
Ms Handsjuk was battling depression and substance issues in the months before she died, the inquest has heard.
Although a police investigation concluded Ms Handsjuk most likely took her own life, the inquest was launched last week after a campaign by Ms Handsjuk’s family, including retired police detective Lorne Campbell.
Mr Campbell’s statement for the coroner, detailing the elaborate personal investigation he undertook after his granddaughter’s death, was read out in court on Friday.
The court was also shown footage of experiments Mr Campbell conducted on the chute, and a replica of it, using women of a similar size to Ms Handsjuk.
In his statement, Mr Campbell says his footage establishes it would have been very difficult for Ms Handsjuk, alone, to have lifted herself into the chute and thrown herself down it while under the influence of alcohol and a number of prescription medications.
He also said if she had wanted to end her life she could have found easier ways to do it than with a small garbage chute.
His evidence continues on Monday.
A colleague of Mr Hampel also took to the stand on Friday and denied claims he repeatedly visited the concierge who made the grisly discovery.
The concierge, Betal Ozulup, on Monday told the coroner an acquaintance of Mr Hampel visited her as often as every second day over two weeks when she returned to work after the death.
She said she was told it suicide and was questioned about her memories of that afternoon by Christo van Egmond, a long-time acquaintance, neighbour and colleague of Mr Hampel. “He said, ‘She couldn’t be saved, she didn’t want to be saved’,” she said.
But on Friday Mr van Egmond, an entertainment executive, said he only remembered approaching Ms Ozulup once after the tragedy.
The inquest has been set down for three weeks – Rania Spooner


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