Lundy appeal granted

02:42, Feb 14 2013
mark Lundy
MARK LUNDY: The convicted double-murderer maintains his innocence.

Longtime Mark Lundy supporter Geoff Levick says he was not surprised at the Privy Council's decision to allow an appeal, but admits there are still more hurdles to jump.

Lundy was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years after he was found guilty of murdering his wife Christine and his seven-year-old daughter Amber in Palmerston North in 2000.

He has always maintained his innocence and his lawyers filed papers with the Privy Council in London in November.

The Privy Council confirmed this morning (NZT) that it would grant Lundy permission to appeal.

The three-day hearing will begin in London on June 17.



''They've obviously decided that the points we've made (mainly around jurisdiction) are obviously very valid.''If he goes to the retrial then I'm confident he will walk free because the evidence against him from the beginning to the end is codswallop. I've been studying this case for 10 years.''

But he saw winning a Privvy Council hearing as just the start of another lengthy process for those campaigning to free Lundy.

''It's an absolutely fascinating case. As an analogy let's say you're on a horse hurdle race and you've jumped two hurdles. The first is launching the petition and the second is being invited to make a submission and going to the hearing. There are a lot more hurdles to jump.''

Meanwhile the man who discovered the bodies of his sister and niece says he is reliving "hell" after finding out today that Lundy was granted an appeal by the Privy Council.

Brother of Christine Lundy, Glenn Weggery, said he was not aware Lundy's appeal had been granted until the Manawatu Standard contacted him this morning.

''Bloody marvellous,'' he said.

''I'm never surprised by anything, I just want it to be over.

''They have been talking about this for so many years, it just puts all the rest of us through hell every time it's brought up.

''We're all trying to move on with our lives and let Christine and Amber rest in peace, but that just can't happen.''

When asked if he had considered Lundy's conviction may be quashed, Mr Weggery said he ''didn't even really want to think about it''.

''In my mind, he's guilty as.''Mr Weggery said he would love to travel to London to be at Lundy's hearing and ''put his two cents in'', but he couldn't afford to.

Speaking to RadioLive this morning, Lundy's lawyer David Hislop QC said he was "delighted".

"We've put a lot of hard work into this, and we want to see that Mark gets the very best opportunity that he can to put his story across.''

He said the basis of appeal included a number of factors, but the principal one was the science that was deployed to identify the brain tissue found on Lundy's shirt.

"We say flawed science, bad science and we obviously want to argue our corner on that," he said.
"It was never good science".

In the Privy Council's judicial committee decision announcement, Lundy's appeal was on the basis that the jury's verdict should be set aside because they were ''unreasonable'' or ''could not be supported having regard to the evidence in the case''.

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.

Mr Hislop said he had not yet had a chance to speak with Lundy about the appeal decision, but that he was not surprised.

"Yes we did expect it, we wouldn't have filed otherwise."

The next issue was how to raise money to get the scientists needed for the case from New Zealand to London, he said.

Mr Hislop said the appeal was a "hybrid between a trial and an appeal" - evidence will be called and each party will have an opportunity to cross examine.

"We won't have a lot of time, it'll be pushed through quickly," he told RadioLive.

Should the appeal be successful, the case could have a similar outcome to the David Bain case, he said.

"The Crown will make up their own minds if they want to retrial Mr Lundy."

As the appeal has been granted, the Privy Council law lords can now consider Lundy's convictions, either upholding or quashing them, in which case the solicitor-general could order a retrial. 

Given the high profile nature of the case, The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Head of Communications Ben Wilson said the court would look at making arrangements to live-stream the hearing.

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


Manawatu Standard