Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Graham Stafford: Continues to assert innocence in face of police claim to have fresh forensic evidence which they have not disclosed. Vows to seek compensation. The Australian.

BREAKING NEWS:  "Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announces review into murder case against Graham Stafford: To decide whether he should bring him to trial for the murder of Leanne Holland. Courier mail.

CONTEXT: "Graham Stuart Stafford born 1963, was a sheet metal worker from Goodna, near Ipswich, Queensland who was convicted in 1992 of the murder of twelve-year-old Leanne Sarah Holland, born 1 October 1978. Leanne Holland, the younger sister of Stafford's former partner, Melissa Holland, was murdered in September 1991. Her viciously mutilated body was found three days after she was reported missing in nearby Redbank Plains. It is possible she was also sexually interfered with and tortured with a cigarette lighter. Stafford appealed to the Queensland Court of Appeal, but this appeal was rejected on 25 August 1992. In 1997, the Queensland Court of Appeal re-examined the case after Stafford lodged an application for pardon with the State Governor on the basis of evidence gathered by private detective, Graeme Crowley. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal again by a two-to-one majority on the grounds that there was still enough evidence to convict. Two applications for special leave to the High Court of Australia subsequently failed. Stafford was released in June 2006 after serving over 14 years in prison. Stafford, who was born in England and does not have Australian citizenship despite having migrated to Australia in 1969, faced deportation in November 2006. Some people, including Professor Paul Wilson of Bond University believe that Stafford is a victim of a miscarriage of justice. The Queensland Attorney-General, Kerry Shine, has agreed to closely consider any request on Stafford's behalf concerning a petition to clear him of the murder conviction. In April 2008, the Queensland Attorney-General referred the case to the Court of Appeal for a very rare second appeal for pardon. On 24 December 2009 the Court of Appeal overturned Graham Stafford's conviction and ordered a retrial by a 2-1 majority. The dissenting judge wanted an immediate acquittal. On 26 March 2010 the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions, Tony Moynihan SC announced there would be no new trial of Graham Stafford for the murder of Leanne Holland."

STORY: "Graham Stafford eyes compensation over murder jail term," bu Roseanne Barrett, published in the Australian on December 20, 2012.

GIST: THE man convicted and later freed for the 1991 murder of Ipswich schoolgirl Leanne Holland says he deserves compensation for imprisonment and may pursue a case against the state. Graham Stafford, 49, said police were "trying to save face" with their declaration this week they had gathered fresh evidence against him for the murder of 12-year-old Leanne. He continues to assert his innocence. "I deserve compensation," he said. "I should be eligible for compensation, whether we go down the avenue of malicious prosecution or another way. "I have been acquitted and I have had it acknowledged that I suffered a miscarriage of justice."  Mr Stafford spent 14 years in a Queensland jail for the murder and was on parole when the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction on procedural grounds in 2009. The court ordered a retrial but the Director of Public Prosecutions opted against it.........A supporter of Mr Stafford's innocence, former detective Graeme Crowley, called for an independent judicial inquiry to assess the case instead of "police investigating police". Mr Crowley compared it with the West Australian case of Andrew Mallard, who was wrongly imprisoned for murder and later received a multi-million-dollar payout. Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is "considering all options" and is expected to decide this week."

 This story appears at the following link:


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