Hope over Lundy appeal

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Sister delivers cards from prison to lawyers fighting for convicted killer

Caryl and Dave Jones will tell Mark Lundy that a decision is possible soon. Photo / Michael Craig
Caryl and Dave Jones will tell Mark Lundy that a decision is possible soon. Photo / Michael Craig

Convicted killer Mark Lundy's sister and brother-in-law returned from London last night, buoyed by the Privy Council hearing which is considering his case.

Caryl and Dave Jones delivered hand-written cards and whisky to the legal team representing Lundy.

Lundy was convicted of murdering his wife Christine and daughter Amber in August 2000, and was sentenced to a jail term of at least 20 years.

Caryl Jones said Lundy's lawyers David Hislop, QC, and Malcolm Birdling appreciated the whisky.

"They saw it and went 'oh' and it got ferreted away pretty quickly."

Lundy remains in prison while the Privy Council considers his case. He has been learning caligraphy and put his skills to use handwriting cards for his lawyers.

Said Dave Jones: "I had a sneak preview. One said 'thanks for your generosity' because this has been done pro bono. There was another one that said 'have you ever had an injustice done to you? I have'."

On the first day of the appeal hearing, Hislop revealed a previously undisclosed police document in which neuro-pathologist Dr Heng Teoh commented on alleged brain tissue he tested on one of Lundy's shirts four months after the murders.

Dr Teoh said the tissue was too degenerated to be identified as brain tissue.

The Crown case did not disclose the letter from Dr Teoh, but instead submitted an opinion from a Texas pathologist, Dr Rodney Miller.

Geoff Levick, a retired businessman who has supported Lundy since 2003, said Lundy was shocked to hear of the undisclosed evidence.

Said Caryl: "If they have held on to that document for 12 years, what else have they held on to?"

The pair plan to visit Lundy in jail today.

"We are just going to answer any questions he has, tell him all the interesting stuff... and tell him not to get his hopes up," Dave Jones said. He said it was possible a decision could be known by the end of July because one of the judges involved in the hearing was retiring then.

"But that's being extremely hopeful and I will tell Mark that, "If you are lucky you might have a decision by July'."

The five members of the Privy Council, including New Zealand's Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, have reserved their decision.

The judges could reject Lundy's appeal, and he would continue to serve at least 20 years of his life sentence, or they could quash his convictions and a new trial could be held, as happened in the David Bain case.

But a third "middle ground" option was canvassed at the hearing.

Under this, the Privy Council could send the case back to the Court of Appeal in New Zealand to consider the conflicting scientific views on the "brain tissue" evidence.

The Court of Appeal would then decide whether a new trial would be held.

The Joneses said Lundy had been able to call each second day during the hearing for updates, and it was hard to describe how he might be feeling.

- Herald on Sunday

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