”FINALLY it has come to an end,” the judge said as he sentenced Mark Wilhelm yesterday.But as Wilhelm left the Supreme Court – with a conviction, but no other penalty – the former coroner under whose scrutiny the case of Dianne Brimble developed its high public profile decided there was unfinished business.Jacqueline Milledge, who is now a local court magistrate, will reopen the inquest to make findings about Mrs Brimble’s death, and recommendations, including those about the cruise ship industry.The inquest had been terminated, after 17 months, in July 2007, when Ms Milledge referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider charges against three people.Yesterday Justice Roderick Howie convicted Wilhelm, who pleaded guilty to supplying Ms Brimble with GHB, also known as fantasy or liquid ecstasy, before she died in his cabin on a P&O cruise ship in September 2002.Living a ”hell of a seven years” of public humiliation and personal anguish over her death was enough punishment for Wilhelm, Justice Howie said.Mrs Brimble’s first husband, Mark Brimble, has campaigned for reforms of the cruise ship industry since her death from an overdose of GHB and alcohol on board the Pacific Sky.Mr Brimble would not comment on Wilhelm’s sentence, but said: ”Evil does not have the last word. God does.”Since Mrs Brimble’s death there have been reforms in the cruise ship industry, but Mr Brimble, who is also the Australian representative of the International Cruise Victims Association, believes a similar incident could still happen.P&O and Royal Caribbean have introduced changes including drug sniffer dogs at the wharf, luggage searches and CCTV cameras on board. But Mr Brimble said not everyone has learnt the painful lessons: ”We may have changed a company, we haven’t changed an industry.”Last year, police services around the Pacific agreed on who is responsible for incidents at sea involving passengers from various states. All incidents now have to be assessed by experienced investigators.P&O now treats all security incidents as suspicious and has implemented clear procedures for the preservation of crime scenes. The inquest heard that the occupants of the cabin in which Mrs Brimble died were allowed to remove their belongings, including the drug which contributed to her death. This hampered the police investigation, which led to the need for an inquest.Both P&O and Royal Caribbean said they had implemented responsible service of alcohol procedures.P&O said it had a ”zero tolerance” for excessive behaviour. The company said disruptive passengers were now sent home from the next port.But Mr Brimble said he hoped the coroner would make a recommendation for a body to monitor the industry and oversee the investigations of crimes at sea.A date for the resumption of the inquest has yet to be set.
Nanjing Night Net