Murderer Wayne Bracken's application for leave to appeal dismissed

Wayne Bracken sought leave to appeal for two aspects of the trial, both evidence from his brothers. PHOTO/FILE
Wayne Bracken sought leave to appeal for two aspects of the trial, both evidence from his brothers. PHOTO/FILE

The Far North killer who murdered a man by clubbing him with a thistle grubber has had his application for leave to appeal dismissed.

Wayne James Bracken was found guilty after a seven week trial of the murder of Jack Davis in 2011. Bracken used a thistle grubber repeatedly until a fatal blow severed the carotid artery, causing Davis to bleed to death. This is after Bracken consumed methamphetamine and cannabis and "hogtied" Davis in a shearing shed for 20 hours.

Bracken was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Davis, as well as charges of aggravated robbery, assault with intent to injure and burglary. He got life imprisonment with a minimum 21-year non-parole period. Bracken's co-accused in the death of Davis, Neville Dangen, from Kaeo, was acquitted on all the charges. The jury took just six hours to reach its guilty verdict.

Court documents released today from the Supreme Court stated that Bracken sought leave to appeal for two aspects of the trial, both evidence from his brothers. One was Kenneth Bracken's evidence as to the effect of drugs on Bracken. The second was the evidence from Frederick Bracken that described Bracken as evil, that he was the "chosen one", the devil and that he had a thousand spirits looking after him.

The first aspect was dismissed when the Court of Appeal noted in its judgment the evidence of a forensic toxicologist. Her evidence was that high doses or chronic use of methamphetamine could give rise to delusions, psychotic episodes and paranoia. She agreed that heavy methamphetamine usage could result in "random serious violence".

Bracken has admitted he regularly used methamphetamine in 2010 and 2011, including in the time leading up to the murder.

"He said taking the drug made him 'quite happy'," stated court documents. "But he then added he could later get a little bit grumpy but never really violent'."

The Supreme Court documents stated that the second aspect was dismissed as they don't believe there is any risk of a miscarriage of justice.

"This is because of the extent and content of the propensity evidence already before the jury and the strength (albeit largely circumstantial) of the Crown case. As this is the case, it is not in the interests of justice to grant the application for leave to appeal on this ground."

- NZ Herald

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