Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mark Lundy: 12,000 miles from New Zealand, his lawyers strenuously attack the Prosecution's evidence as to the time of death - and a week before the Privy Council hearing commenced, a document emerged that could have been helpful to the defence; (Must Reads. HL.)

STORY: "Lundy's team disputes timing evidence," by reporter Amelia Romanos, published by News 3 on June 19, 2013.

GIST: Jurors in Mark Lundy's 2002 double-murder trial were misled about the reliability of the method used to establish when the victims died, the Privy Council has been told.cLundy, who was found guilty of bludgeoning his wife Christine and their seven-year-old daughter Amber to death in their Palmerston North home in 2000, is appealing his conviction at the London court. On the second day of the hearing on Tuesday (local time), his lawyers focused on the time the victims died, which Palmerston North pathologist James Pang determined, based on their stomach contents, was between 7pm and 7:15pm. David Hislop, QC, told the court Dr Pang's tests had been internationally rejected and experts said the idea that time of death could be measured within minutes based on the gastric contents was "scientific nonsense". Time of death was pivotal to the case and the jury was deprived of evidence that would have contradicted Dr Pang's findings, Mr Hislop said. Cellphone records placed Lundy in Petone at 5:43pm and then again at 8:28pm on August 29. The prosecution's case was that he drove from Petone to Palmerston North, committed the murders, then returned to Petone - a journey of 150km - within three hours. "All the defence really had to do was stretch [the time of death] beyond 7:15pm, then the travel to Wellington becomes impossible and he has an alibi," Mr Hislop said."

The entire story can be found at:

STORY: "Lundy appeal: Virus affected computer," by APNZ, published by the Otago  Daily Times on June 19, 2013.

GIST: The timing is crucial to the case as Crown pathologists estimated the pair was killed between 7pm and 7.15pm. However, a police computer expert at Lundy's trial in 2002 said there was evidence that the file registry in the computer was disordered which suggested the time on the machine was tampered with. Maarten Kleintjes demonstrated to the jury how it was possible to tamper with the computer and manipulate the 'shut down' time on the clock that was undetectable - giving Lundy an alibi. He also said it was "far-fetched" that a computer virus could disorder the registry files.
He did not know of such a virus, and found no sign of a virus on the Lundy computer. However, defence lawyer David Hislop QC told the Privy Council last night that a computer expert, hired for the appeal, said there were a number of ways that files could become disordered - including a virus. Forensic examiner Michael Chappell discovered that the virus-checking programme on the Lundy computer was out of date, and was in fact infected with a virus known as a KAK worm. He traced it back to an infected email some six weeks prior to the killings in August 2000. Timing is crucial to the prosecution case. If Christine Lundy shut down the computer at 10.52pm and a computer virus affected the registry files - rather than Mark Lundy tampering with the clock - then he would have an alibi.

The entire story can be found at:

STORY: "12,000 miles away from murder case that captivated New Zealand a London hearing decides on freedom of man convicted of bludgeoning wife and child to death,"  by reporter Terri Judd, published by the Independent on June 18, 2103;

In a dramatic claim, worthy of a case that has inspired heated debate in the antipodean nation, Mr Lundy's lawyer insisted that less than a week ago they had received evidence that could have been vital to the defence but was withheld. The court, he added, might draw the inference that there had been a "cover up" by the police. The document concerned, David Hislop QC told four of the UK's most senior judges sitting alongside New Zealand's Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, showed that a prosecution expert had deemed key forensic evidence had degenerated too much to be strong enough to convict. Yet the DNA formed a central plank of the prosecution case......... The document was from the senior officer in the case, Detective Sergeant Ross Grantham, requesting permission from his superior to seek out an expert in the United States. Within it he explained that the neuro-pathologist they had consulted, Dr Heng Teoh, had said the 58 day lapse in time before the cells on the shirt were found meant they had degenerated badly. "He didn't think Mark Lundy should be convicted of murder on the strength of the cells," added the QC. The barrister said that material was never disclosed to the defence before the trial, adding : "We have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that the officer in charge met with his disclosure obligations." While refusing to put the allegation himself, Mr Hislop said the Privy Council might draw an inference that "someone misled or covered up to secure a conviction".

The entire story can be found at:


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