Monday, October 7, 2013

Mark Lundy; New Zealand; Bulletin; Complete Privy Council decision (all fifty pages) quashing both murder convictions and ordering retrials on basis that new (scientific) evidence would have led to an acquittal; (Must read. HL); TV NZ;

THE COMPLETE DECISION: (All fifty pages); Must read! HL.

STORY: "Privy Council quashes Mark Lundy double murder convictions,"  published by TV New Zealand on October 7, 2013.

GIST:"Mark Lundy is set to be retried for the murders of his wife and daughter in the High Court of New Zealand after the Privy Council quashed the convictions tonight. Lundy, who is serving a minimum prison sentence of 20 years, was found guilty of murdering wife Christine and daughter Amber, 7, in a frenzied attack in their Palmerston North home in August 2000. He maintained his innocence and the Privy Council, in London, heard a three-day appeal against the convictions in June......... The test as to whether the conviction was "safe" was whether the new evidence would have led to an acquittal. The Privy Council board said in light of the new evidence Lundy's conviction could not be considered safe. "Since the trial a substantial body of evidence from reputable consultants has cast doubt on the methods the Crown had relied on to establish the time of death based of the post mortem examination of the victims," The Privy Council said. "Furthermore the use of the particular method used to identify the tissue as central nervous system tissue is controversial, both in criminal trials generally, because it is relatively untested in that context and in the particular circumstances of this case, where there is at least reason to doubt the accuracy of the testing given the state of the samples. "Finally, evidence produced by the appellant suggested the tampering to the computer had an innocent explanation in that it had been caused by a virus that had not been detected by the Crown's witness.""

The entire story can be found at:

See more detailed STUFF NZ report: "Led by expat Kiwi lawyer David Hislop, QC, the appeal was based on doubts about material said to be brain tissue found on Lundy’s shirt that linked him to the crime scene. Hislop produced expert evidence saying the specks of human tissue were in too poor a condition to be properly analysed. Crown expert Rodney Miller, from Texas, used a technique called immunohistochemistry, or IHC, which he had previously tested on a chicken, to identify the tissue. One significant revelation at the appeal was a report obtained by police before the 2002 trial, from Dr Heng Teoh, in which he said the material had degenerated so much that Lundy should not be convicted on the strength of tissue evidence alone. The report was never given to Lundy’s trial lawyers and was only handed to Hislop shortly before the Privy Council hearing. Hislop also raised doubts about the time of death, with Lundy’ trial hearing the killings happened about 7pm. Crown expert pathologist James Pang said at the outside the deaths could have happened at 7.15pm, based on his examination of Christine and Amber Lundy’s stomach contents.  Hislop consulted British forensic pathologist Professor Bernard Knight who said deciding time of death on stomach contents was unreliable. Cellphone records place Lundy in or around Petone at 5.38 and 8.28, giving him a tight time frame to commit the murders, stage a burglary, clean up, run to his car and drive the 300 kmh round trip at breakneck sped. Palmerston North woman Margaret Dance reported seeing a man dressed in a wig and tracksuit running in the area about 7.15. At Lundy’s trial and at the Privy Council, Lundy’s lawyers have said her evidence was unreliable. The Privy Council also heard doubts about trial evidence that suggested Lundy had tampered with his home computer to make it appear to shut down at 10.52pm.  Hislop also spoke of lights seen on at the Lundy home about They were turned off when Christine and Amber’s bodies were found the next morning.. Lundy was definitely in Petone at 11.30pm, when he called a prostitute. He was with her between 11.36pm and 12.37am, in what the Crown told his trial was a cynical attempt at creating an alibi."

See Wikipedia report for overview of case:


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