Terri Irwin and Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin's widow has been given the video footage of his fatal encounter with a stingray by the Australian state coroner.The 'Crocodile Hunter' died aged 44 last September after being stabbed in the chest by a stingray's poisonous barb while he was filming a documentary off the Great Barrier Reef.It was feared footage of his untimely death would be leaked on the internet so the original copy of the tape has been given to Terri to prevent that from happening. Queensland State Coroner Michael Barnes said on Thursday, "The footage has been the subject of widespread media interest and it was wholly appropriate that we took all possible steps to ensure something of such a personal and tragic nature did not fall into the wrong hands."This is in line with the wishes of the Irwin family."The coroner's office said police had made a small number of copies of the video to assist their inquiry into the cause of Irwin's death, but they were kept under tight security during the investigation and have now been destroyed. Last September, Terri told ABC's Barbara Walters in a US television interview that the video should never be made public.Terri, who has not seen the footage, said: "What purpose would that serve?"Irwin's friend and business partner, John Stainton, has seen the film and agrees there is no reason why it should be aired. He said: "It's just a horrible piece of tape."