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Wellington crash victims’ final resting place ruled on by NSW judge

Two boys killed in a horror car crash in country New South Wales earlier this year will be buried together, with a court ruling in favour of their mother after a lengthy and at times ugly court battle with the boys’ father.

Sheldon, 6, and Shane Shorey, 7, died instantly when an out-of-control car ran them down as they walked into the local pool at Wellington, in the state’s central west, on January 5.

For more than seven weeks since the crash their bodies have remained unburied, as their separated parents battled it out in the NSW Supreme Court over how they were to be farewelled.

Their mother Shayleen Frail wanted her boys buried in Wellington, while their father Joseph Shorey – who now lives in Queensland – wanted their bodies to be cremated. 

Justice John Sackar ruled on Wednesday the wishes of Ms Frail should be respected, meaning they will be farewelled at a funeral in Dubbo before being buried together.

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Sheldon (left), 6, and Shane (right), 7, are finally set to be laid to rest more than seven weeks on from a horror crash at Wellington, in NSW's central west, that claimed their lives. A NSW court ruled on Wednesday that the two brothers should be buried in Wellington together

Sheldon (left), 6, and Shane (right), 7, are finally set to be laid to rest more than seven weeks on from a horror crash at Wellington, in NSW's central west, that claimed their lives. A NSW court ruled on Wednesday that the two brothers should be buried in Wellington together

Sheldon (left), 6, and Shane (right), 7, are finally set to be laid to rest more than seven weeks on from a horror crash at Wellington, in NSW’s central west, that claimed their lives. A NSW court ruled on Wednesday that the two brothers should be buried in Wellington together

Shayleen Frail (pictured) wanted her sons to be buried in Wellington, which she said was in live with local traditional Aboriginal customs

Shayleen Frail (pictured) wanted her sons to be buried in Wellington, which she said was in live with local traditional Aboriginal customs

Joseph Shorey wanted to cremate his boys Shane and Sheldon, so that he and his ex-partner Ms Frail could each keep them close

Joseph Shorey wanted to cremate his boys Shane and Sheldon, so that he and his ex-partner Ms Frail could each keep them close

Shayleen Frail (left) and Joseph Shorey (right) went head-to-head in court over how best to lay their two sons to rest

Ms Frail last week told the court she wanted to bury her boys to follow an Aboriginal tradition. 

In his judgement Justice Sackar said he ultimately ruled in favour of Ms Frail because he believed Mr Shorey’s relocation to Queensland was ‘his choice’.

‘The grief suffered by all relevant persons on the death of these two small boys is unimaginable. The Court’s task is difficult and challenging but this dispute must in everyone’s interest be resolved expeditiously,’ he told the court.

‘It is not possible in a case like this absent compromise to produce a perfect solution.

‘But I am satisfied as a matter of discretion and in all circumstances that the Plaintiff (Ms Frail) should have the carriage of the children’s burial in Wellington as proposed.

‘It is on the evidence before me reflective of the proportion of time they have spent as part of their all too short lives in Wellington with family and friends.’  

The court’s ruling brings to an end a sad chapter in the already tragic story of the boys deaths.

Mr Shorey, who lived in Queensland with his two sons prior to the crash, wanted the two boys to be cremated.

This, he said in an affidavit, would allow both himself and Ms Frail to ‘construct any memorial we want for the boys that can then be visited by both of us’. 

But Ms Frail brought the court case against Mr Shorey, claiming that her sons should be buried in Wellington where she grew up.

She claimed both Sheldon and Shane had strong ties with the Aboriginal community and that it was part of their local custom that the deceased by buried, not cremated. 

The crash happened just near the Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre (pictured) where Ms Frail was intending to take her sons, and two other boys, for a swim

The crash happened just near the Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre (pictured) where Ms Frail was intending to take her sons, and two other boys, for a swim

The crash happened just near the Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre (pictured) where Ms Frail was intending to take her sons, and two other boys, for a swim

Police allege Donn was performing burnouts in his red Holden (pictured) when he lost control, mounted the gutter and hit the group of five pedestrians

Police allege Donn was performing burnouts in his red Holden (pictured) when he lost control, mounted the gutter and hit the group of five pedestrians

Police allege Donn was performing burnouts in his red Holden (pictured) when he lost control, mounted the gutter and hit the group of five pedestrians

Sheldon and his brothers were very sporty

Sheldon and his brothers were very sporty

Shane loved riding his scooter

Shane loved riding his scooter

In the aftermath of the crash that killed Sheldon (left) and Shane (right), both parents told how their children were all incredible sporty and loved the outdoors

‘The significance to this location is where Shane and Sheldon lived most of their lives and started schooling and sports in Wellington,’ she said in her affidavit.

‘I believe that Shane and Sheldon need a final resting place, where their spirits can enter the Dreamtime and allow the boys to rest in peace in their final resting place.’

Following Justice Sackar’s ruling, the funeral for Sheldon and Shane Shorey will now likely be held next week.

NSW Police are continuing to investigate the crash which came as they two young boys and their mother were walking with two other children the Wellington Aquatic Centre on Warne Street, on the afternoon of January 5.

As they walked down the road from the pool they were hit by a red Holden sedan with p-plates, allegedly being driven by Jacob Steven Donn.

Another boy who was among the group, but cannot be named, had a leg amputated in the wake of the horror crash.

Alleged unlicensed driver Jacob Steven Donn (pictured) is facing a total of 14 charges, among them one count of dangerous driving occasioning death and drug possession

Alleged unlicensed driver Jacob Steven Donn (pictured) is facing a total of 14 charges, among them one count of dangerous driving occasioning death and drug possession

Alleged unlicensed driver Jacob Steven Donn (pictured) is facing a total of 14 charges, among them one count of dangerous driving occasioning death and drug possession 

Mr Shorey lays a hand on the broken black fence where Donn's red Holden allegedly ploughed into the group during his emotional first visit to the scene, less than 24 hours after the crash

Mr Shorey lays a hand on the broken black fence where Donn's red Holden allegedly ploughed into the group during his emotional first visit to the scene, less than 24 hours after the crash

Mr Shorey lays a hand on the broken black fence where Donn’s red Holden allegedly ploughed into the group during his emotional first visit to the scene, less than 24 hours after the crash 

Donn, 25, had allegedly been performing burnouts and donuts on the same road just minutes before the crash.

He has been charged with 14 offences, among them a count of including dangerous driving occasioning death and another of possessing a prohibited drug.

He was also charged with fleeing the scene in the moments after the crash.

Donn is due to return before Dubbo Local Court on March 10.

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