Shock over Mark Lundy appeal
The man who discovered the bodies of his sister Christine Lundy and her 7-year-old daughter Amber is unhappy he was not told about convicted murderer Mark Lundy's legal appeal with the Privy Council.
Glenn Weggery instead learned through the media of the legal team's bid to obtain permission for a hearing before the law lords.
Lundy was in 2002 convicted of killing both his wife and daughter in August 2000.
On appeal he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years.
But Lundy has always maintained his innocence and in the early hours of yesterday morning his legal team, led by David Hislop, QC, lodged appeal papers with the Privy Council in London.
In a statement Hislop said ''the grounds advanced in the application include, non-disclosure of 'expert shopping' by the police and the deployment at trial of flawed science in the areas of pathology (time of death), immunohistochemistry and computers''.
Justices there will now decide whether they grant Lundy leave to appeal.
Weggery said he wasn't surprised at the lack of communication, as nobody told him when Lundy began leaving Manawatu Prison for cancer treatment two years ago.
''It's bloody marvellous to not know in advance.
''We're wondering if we'll know when he gets let out on parole.''
Weggery had since received a call from the police head of investigations Ross Grantham telling him what the process from here would be.
''It's been coming for years - they've been saying an appeal to the Privy Council is imminent then we wouldn't hear anything for years.''
While the process seemed to last for ages, at least the Privy Council was the final step, Weggery said.
Christine Lockett, a friend of Christine Lundy, said there were anxious times ahead after the likelihood of an appeal had ''reared its ugly head so many times over the years'', although it had ''never come to fruition''.
''I never thought it would. We are never allowed to totally be at peace with the horrific loss of Christine and Amber and all that we went through keeps coming back to haunt us,'' she said.
Lundy has the backing of the Factual (For Amber and Christine - Truth Uncovered About Lundys) organisation.
Its website lists what it calls several areas of doubt about the case, including the time of death and the presence of brain or spinal tissue found on Lundy's shirt.
''The appeal has been funded largely pro bono,'' said one of Lundy's supporters, Geoff Levick.
''The guys up there [in Britain] have put in a hell of a lot of work. They are a very capable and intelligent bunch of people.''
Lundy is not eligible for parole until February 23, 2021.
In December last year the Corrections Department confirmed Lundy had been leaving prison grounds since late 2009.
A parole board spokesman said no application for early release on compassionate grounds had been received.