Convicted double-murderer Mark Lundy’s bid to clear his name begins tonight as the Privy Council in London holds a three day hearing into his case.
Lundy is serving a 20-year minimum jail sentence for the murders of his wife Christine and daughter Amber, 7, on August 29, 2000, in the family’s Palmerston North home.
Originally sentenced to 17 years’ jail, the Court of Appeal upped the punishment after both Lundy and the Crown appealed the initial outcome of Lundy’s 2002 jury trial.
But Lundy maintains his innocence and a group of dedicated supporters has organised his Privy Council bid, which will be led by noted human rights lawyers, New Zealander David Hislop, QC.
Lundy won’t be at the hearing, while his main backer, Geoff Levick of Kumeu, is also staying home.
He will be undertaking the role of standby researcher and will need full access to the documents festooned around his home.
“If we need any documents, I’d be better off here,” Levick said.
Lundy’s sister Caryl and her husband David Jones have told North and South magazine they will make the trip to London, while the man who found the bodies on August 30, 2000, Christine’s brother Glenn Weggery, will follow media reports of the hearings.
At Lundy’s trial, the Crown argued that the time of deaths was about 7pm, according to scientific evidence about the stomach contents of Christine and Amber Lundy.
Cell phone records placed Lundy in Petone, about 150km away, at 5.30pm and 8.28pm, leaving a three hour window for him to make the drive, park some 500m away, kill his family, clean up, and return south.
There he later hired a prostitute.
Christine was in bed early on the night in question, the Crown said, because Lundy had promised her he would return from his business trip to make love.
Hislop has said the timing of the deaths, evidence about stomach contents and the technique used to identify what was said to be brain tissue on Lundy’s shirt would form the basis of the appeal.
The Crown lawyer at the hearing will be deputy solicitor-general Cameron Mander and Annabel Markham.
Because this case pre-dates its existence, Lundy could not appeal to the Supreme Court.
- Manawatu Standard