Community Stages Supreme Court Protest During Wait for Jari Wise Inquest Decision

Community members will stage a presence outside Hobart’s Supreme Court from 9.30AM this morning, 4th May in an emotional plea for justice regarding the 2020 murder of Huonville man Jari Wise. 

The gathering will demand that Tasmania’s judicial system stands to account amidst a murder investigation the community claims has been ‘corrupted’ during the court’s decision into whether or not an inquest will be granted.

Wise was a 26 year old father at the time of his death, when he was struck down by ex-partner Melissa Oates outside Huonville State School. Oates then fled the scene.

Oates served only an eight month sentence for two assault charges, 156 breaches of Family Violence Orders, dangerous driving, driving three times over the limit, and leaving the scene of an accident. No murder or manslaughter charges have ever been laid.

Ongoing protests by community members and widespread media coverage, including a 60 Minutes segment, have drawn public attention to the case which has been dubbed a ‘difficult pursuit of justice through a corrupted system’.

Community members say regardless of the decision tomorrow, they and others will continue to voice their calls for justice from an investigation they claim has been intentionally botched – including, allegedly, a refusal by the attending officers to take witness accounts from the first responders on the night of the incident. 

According to Wise’s grandmother and respected artist, Rissah Vox, many opportunities to deliver justice have been overlooked that deserve to see an inquest.

“The worst thing that a grandmother can ever hear is the anguished wail of her own child, mourning the death of her son at the funeral home. There’s no words we can say to express that feeling.

“All I can say is that I’m really proud of my daughter Faith. I’m amazed at her – every breath that she’s taken since my grandson was murdered. Since she sat with him outside Huonville High School for 10 hours. I’m so proud of what she’s done, practically single handedly, to get us to where we are now.

“So it’s so important that tomorrow we get a yes from Judge Betts today. It is VITAL that we get a yes… because I hate to think of the consequences if we don’t. 

“I’m blessed that I know that my grandson Jari is back on country. I took him home, I buried him on the banks of the river, and I knew when I did that we had finally had some sort of closure. Now we need the legal system to catch up. We need a yes for the inquest and a date, and then we can breathe a sigh of relief – not just for me and my daughter and family but for people all around the world that have been affected by my grandson’s murder. It needs to be acknowledged that Melissa Oates murdered Jari Wise in cold blood. It needs to be acknowledged.”