Friday, November 27, 2015

Henry Keogh: (Aftermath 11): Article by reporter Meredith Booth in the Australian ("Flawed forensics’ trigger murder appeals") indicates that there are possibly 400 criminal convictions which may need to be reviewed in South Australia because of the defective work of disgraced pathologist Dr Colin Manock - and that a class action may be brewing.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am grateful to Dr. Robert Moles for providing a note on an article by reporter Meredith Booth published in the Australian entitled '"Flawed forensics’ trigger murder appeals." The article, published on November 25, 2015,  is important as it indicates that  there are possibly 400 criminal convictions which may need to be reviewed in South Australia because of the defective work of disgraced pathologist  Dr Colin Manock -  and as it indicates that 'Maurice Blackburn" Australia's largest class action outfit  may have dozens of cases lined up for review. It has been noted that Dr. Moles, an occasional guest contributor to this Blog, is a miscarriage of justice researcher and campaigner who as been pressing for national reform. "Moles’ organisation Networked Knowledge has already won reforms giving potential victims of miscarriages of justice more rights to appeal in South Australia and is now campaigning for a new Right to Appeal act in all states, and the establishment of a national Criminal Cases Review Commission. (For more, see his timeline)."

 "On 25 November 2015 Meredith Booth of The Australian reported ‘Flawed forensics’ trigger murder appeals. Three murderers are to appeal convictions in South Australia’s highest court in coming months on the ground of miscarriage of justice after a decision to drop a prosecution case against high-profile appellant Henry Keogh. Mr Keogh, 59, spent almost 20 years in jail and faced a third trial for the “body in the bath” murder of Anna-Jane Cheney in 1994 after a second conviction was set aside on appeal last year. However, he walked free from court last week after prosecutors deemed a key witness was too sick to testify and dropped the case. Common to Mr Keogh’s and the other cases is perceived flawed and inadequate forensic evidence from former chief forensic pathologist Colin Manock. This material was crucial to their convictions. Dr Manock, who was chief pathologist for 30 years until 1995, appeared as an expert witness in an estimated 400 cases. Lawyers for Frits Van Beelen, who filed to the Court of Criminal Appeal last month to have his 1971 murder conviction of teenager Deborah Leach overturned, said Dr Manock’s evidence was inadmissible because he since had been established as unprofessional, incompetent and untrustworthy. Lawyers representing Derek Bromley and David Szach, 55, are also in the final stages of preparing appeals likely to be lodged by Christmas or early next year. Bromley, 60, in his 31st year in jail and nine years beyond his sentence, has refused to show remorse for the 1984 drowning murder of Stephen Docoza, which he denies. His co-accused, who also denies the murder, walked free on parole in 2004. Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement lawyer Chris Charles said Bromley’s team had worked for at least two years on building fresh evidence to appeal and had instructed former royal commissioner and former NSW Supreme Court judge Greg James QC to act for him in court. Maurice Blackburn managing principal Anthony Kerin is expected to file an appeal for Szach early next year, with Szach’s motor neurone disease adding urgency to a bid to clear his name. Szach received a mandatory life sentence 36 years ago for the shooting murder of his lover, 44-year-old Adelaide criminal lawyer Derrance Stevenson, a crime he denies. Mr Kerin said Szach’s case would be ahead of dozens of appeals in their early stages in light of last year’s judgment that Mr Keogh had suffered a miscarriage of justice and Dr Manock’s assertions in his murder trial were “unreliable”, his conclusions “not properly explored” and his autopsy “inadequate”.