Jennifer Kohl investigation: Paul Tunik claimed he had sex with his girlfriend before she was crushed in a freak mower accident. He then refused to come to Australia and provide answers. Now he can be exposed for the first time
A tourist who was behind the wheel of a riding lawn mower when it overturned and killed his young backpacker lover could be exposed for the first time – after a coroner found he is suspected of committing a serious crime.
Daily Mail Australia has obtained the first photos of Paul Tunik, 27, posing with his girlfriend, Jennifer Kohl, 27, in Sydney Harbor weeks before she died in an apparent accident on a Queensland farm in December 2017.
Mr. Tunik, who was at the farm with Ms. Kohl to pick fruit, told authorities that the lovers had sex earlier that fateful day in a secluded spot on the farm.
He told witnesses he had 'persuaded' her to go for a ride on the riding mower as a 'romantic gesture', the inquest heard.
However, the riding mower overturned as they descended a slope, crushing and killing Mrs. Kohl.
Mr Tunik did not give evidence at the inquest into Ms Kohl's death – which was attended by her grieving mother Cornelia – and left Australia for New Zealand.
In findings released last month, Queensland coroner Carol Lee found there was “reasonable suspicion that Mr Tunik had committed a criminal offence” and referred the matter to the director of public prosecutions.
Jennifer Kohl, 27, arrived in Australia from Germany on a working holiday with her 27-year-old partner Paul Tunik in February 2017
She noted that there were “inconsistencies” in his various accounts of what happened when a sharp turn by Mr Tunik caused the mower to roll down the slope and trap her underneath.
Ms Kohl's mother has questioned several details about what happened that day and refuses to accept that the couple had sex.
Ms Kohl had arrived in Australia from Germany in February 2017 for a working holiday with Mr Tunik before finding work on the avocado farm in December that year.
Cornelia said the couple fled to Australia after being threatened by a gang in the German city of Leipzig.
“Every day I suffer the loss of my daughter and I just can't understand that she is gone,” she said.
'I have to deal with it all alone because my divorced husband and my son are distancing themselves and saying she is dead and nothing can bring her back. But I fight for justice and Jenny's death should not have been in vain.'
In her findings, the coroner ruled that Ms Kohl and Mr Tunik had completed their work for the day when they went to an unused and unseen part of the property where Mr Tunik claimed to have had sex.
In an inquest carried out last month, coroner Carol Lee found she had a 'reasonable suspicion that Mr Tunik had committed a criminal offence' when Ms Kohl died.
Mr Tunik then persuaded Ms Kohl to ride back with him on the ride-on mower – which had a trailer attached – as a “romantic gesture”.
Mr. Tunik drove the mower while Ms. Kohl sat on the wheel well as they went down a steep slope and rolled.
Ms Kohl was trapped under the mower and despite Mr Tunik's attempts to remove the heavy piece of industrial equipment and call for help, she could not be rescued.
A two-day inquest into Ms Kohl's death was held in May last year, with Coroner Lee announcing her findings in December.
“I have formed reasonable suspicion that Mr Tunik has committed a criminal offence,” she said.
'As I have not received any views from Mr Tunik after giving him the opportunity to submit a view, I refer to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.'
Mr Tunik did not provide evidence at the inquest but did speak to occupational health and safety investigators. That investigation was stopped.
'I therefore conclude that Mr Tunik and Ms Kohl had completed the work assigned to them on the day of the accident and had had sexual intercourse in a disused and out of sight part of the property, during a joyride as if they were the property belonged to them,” said Coroner Lee.
“Such activities with the mower were unauthorized and contrary to the instructions given to them.”
Mrs. Kohl's mother Cornelia is fighting for justice for her daughter
At the time of the incident there was a delay in the arrival of emergency services, partly due to Mr Tunik's limited English when he called Triple Zero.
Mr. Tunik flagged down passing cars, but even with the help of three bystanders, Ms. Kohl could not be freed.
Coroner Lee found that the farm's co-owners, Kathryn Singleton and Kenneth Jacobi, had provided the two adults with adequate instruction and supervision on how to use the mower and trailer in the designated areas.
The farm's owners had said Mr Tunik told them he had 'persuaded' his girlfriend to sit on the mower with him, despite her telling him she did not want to.
In her findings, Coroner Lee recommends the Department of Home Affairs set up a 'one-stop-shop' website for holiday workers to advise them on workplace health and safety and their legal rights in Australia.
The coroner expressed her sincere condolences to Mrs Kohl's family over the tragic accident.
“Her death has had an impact on many people, in particular her mother who had traveled from Germany for the inquest,” she said.
Pictured is a stock photo of the riding mower that knocked over and killed Mrs. Kohl