Mark Lundy gets Privy Council hearing

Last updated 08:02 14/02/2013
Mark Lundy family portrait
FAMILY PORTRAIT: Mark Lundy murdered his wife, Christine, and seven-year-old daughter Amber.
mark Lundy
KEVIN STENT
MARK LUNDY: The convicted double-murderer maintains his innocence.

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Mark Lundy has been granted a hearing in front of the Privy Council to appeal his conviction for murdering his wife and daughter.

The three-day hearing will begin in London on June 17, his lawyer David Hislop, QC, told RadioLive this morning.

Lundy is serving a life sentence with a non-parole period of 20 years after a jury found him guilty of killing his wife Christine and daughter Amber, 7, in a frenzied attack in their Palmerston North home in August 2000.

Two years later he was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years, but that was increased by the Court of Appeal after both Lundy and the prosecution appealed.

Lundy has always maintained his innocence and on the 10th anniversary of the killings, his then legal team said it was launching a bid to challenge his convictions at the Privy Council - the highest court that can hear the case.

New Zealand's Supreme Court did not exist at the time of the murders, so cannot hear the case.

The granting of hearing means the Privy Council law lords will consider Lundy's convictions, either upholding or quashing them, in which case the solicitor-general could order a retrial.

Lundy's bid is headed by Hislop, a New Zealand lawyer who has practised in Britain since 1988. He was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1979. He represents clients in "all forms of serious crime including murder, terrorism, organised crime and extradition", according to his chamber's website.

It is understood the legal bid has been funded by supporters of Lundy involved in the Factual (For Amber and Christine - Truth Uncovered about Lundys) website.

It is also understood that Lundy's previous legal team of Wellington lawyer Christopher Stevenson and Keith Becker, now based in Sydney, were to have appealed on the basis of discrediting brain or spinal tissue found on one of Lundy's shirts during the police investigation.

The Factual website also lists doubts about the time of death and whether Lundy could have driven back from Wellington, where he was staying for work, committed the murders, then driven back in the tight time frame.
Lundy's case is probably one of the last New Zealand cases to go to the Privy Council.

Three years ago it rejected an appeal from John Barlow, who at his third trial in 1995, was convicted of killing Wellington father and son businessmen Eugene and Gene Thomas.

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In 2007, it quashed David Bain's convictions for murdering his Dunedin family in 1994. He was found not guilty at a retrial.

- The Dominion Post

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