Monday, December 22, 2014

Henry Keogh: South Australia; Aftermath (2): He has been released on bail following 20 years in prison. ABC News story refers in detail to the Court of Criminal Appeal decision - including the finding that, "A number of highly significant observations and opinions of (former chief pathologist) Dr (Colin) Manock materially misled the prosecution, the defence, the trial Judge and the jury." Reporter Candice Marcus. ABC News.

STORY: "Henry Keogh released on bail after 20 years in jail on Anna-Jane Cheney murder conviction," by reporter Candice marcus, published by ABC News on December 22, 2014.

GIST: "An Adelaide man who has been in jail for 20 years for the murder of his fiancée has been released on bail after his conviction was set aside following an appeal. In a landmark appeal, the South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal last week overturned Henry Vincent Keogh's conviction and ordered a retrial.  The court found Mr Keogh's original trial amounted to a miscarriage of justice. Mr Keogh was unanimously found guilty by a jury in 1995 for allegedly drowning his fiancée Anna-Jane Cheney in a bath at their Magill home in Adelaide's north-eastern suburbs in March 1994, three days after her 29th birthday. The now 59-year-old has been fighting his conviction ever since. He had exhausted all avenues of appeal until last year when a legislation change allowed him to lodge another appeal on the grounds of fresh and compelling evidence. The court heard the then chief forensic pathologist, Dr Colin Manock, who testified at the trial that Ms Cheney was held under the water, later changed his mind about crucial evidence. Justice John Sulan has now granted Mr Keogh bail, an application that was unopposed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Adam Kimber......... He will return to court in February for an arraignment hearing where he will enter his plea.........Mr Keogh claimed he left the house on the evening of his fiancée's death as she was about to take a bath, and when he returned home later that evening he found her lying on her side with her face under the water. He said he removed her from the bath and attempted resuscitation. Dr Manock, who conducted the autopsy, gave evidence at trial that he believed Ms Cheney's drowning was assisted. The pathologist said he considered that bruising on Ms Cheney's lower left leg was evidence that she had been held under the water. He also concluded that bruising to her head and the back of her neck was caused by her head hitting the hard surface of the bath. Dr Manock said it was his opinion that the bruising occurred within four hours prior to her death. However, it was revealed during the latest appeal that he later changed his mind after Mr Keogh was convicted.........In its judgment, the Court of Criminal Appeal, comprised of Justice Thomas Gray, Justice John Sulan and Justice Kevin Nicholson, accepted that Dr Manock's admissions after the trial formed grounds for the landmark appeal. "Dr Manock's recantations and changes of opinion, for reasons to be discussed later, qualify as fresh and compelling evidence which should be considered on appeal in the interests of justice," the judgment said. Experts who gave evidence in the latest appeal, Professor Derrick John Pounder and Dr Matthew Joseph Lynch, said the original autopsy was flawed. "Both agree that there is nothing in the autopsy findings to exclude the probability that Ms Cheney's death was a drowning in the bath following a fall and a head injury which rendered her unconscious," the judgment said. "Further, they both agree that the cause of a fall cannot be known with any certainty because consideration of a possibility of a fall was never seriously entertained and the opportunities for investigation have been irretrievably lost." The court found that the jury would have been heavily influenced by Dr Manock's evidence at the trial, despite the forensic evidence not being enough of its own to convict Mr Keogh. "The prosecution case was circumstantial. The case was not one that could be established by the evidence of the forensic pathologists alone," the judges said. "To our minds, there can be little doubt that the jury would have considered Dr Manock's evidence and given it substantial weight. At the very least, there is a real risk that they would have done so. "His opinion as to the mechanism of murder and his physical demonstration using a bath in the courtroom provided the jury with a readily understood mechanism." Dr Manock's evidence at trial was also supported by another senior pathologist, Ross James. "Dr Manock's evidence - now known to be incorrect - as to the ageing of the bruises to within four hours of death was supported by Dr James, who expressed the view that the bruises would have been sustained within an even shorter time of death," the judgement said. "The jury were denied evidence on critical matters that now render Dr Manock's opinion as to the mechanism of murder no more than unsustainable speculation. "In our view the applicant did not receive a fair trial and there has been a substantial miscarriage of justice." The court found that as Dr Manock's evidence was flawed, the verdict was unsafe."A number of highly significant observations and opinions of Dr Manock materially misled the prosecution, the defence, the trial Judge and the jury."........It will now be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions whether to prosecute Mr Keogh again. The DPP declined to comment and is not expected to make a decision on whether to proceed with a retrial for some time."

The entire story can be found at:


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