Key evidence:
• A former inmate of Lundy's said he had confessed to the crime during a jail house confession
• He said his daughter had walked in on him with his wife
• The man told police after seeing Lundy's release on bail
• Defence said the timings of the conversation did not add up
• The man had written a letter to a judge about the conversation in an effort to be granted bail, but the letter was never sent
• Police confirmed the man was not rewarded for giving evidence

In an apparent jailhouse confession, Mark Lundy told a fellow inmate he would not have been in jail if his daughter had not seen what he had done to his wife, a court was told today.

Lundy was sent to prison in 2002 after he was found guilty of killing his wife Christine and daughter Amber two years earlier in their Palmerston North home.

His convictions were quashed in 2013 by the Privy Council and a retrial on his murder charges was ordered.

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Lundy has denied killing his wife and daughter.

The fellow inmate, who has name suppression and was called Witness X in the High Court at Wellington today, said he and Lundy were in the prison's segregation unit at the same time.

Witness X said he had been in the unit for a few days when he and Lundy started chatting over a game of cards about why they were in prison.

He said Lundy had been speaking about an appeal.

"I said I wouldn't be here if my mother hadn't called the police and told them who I was," Witness X said.

"He said he wouldn't be there if his daughter hadn't come out and seen what he had done to his wife."

Lundy told the man he had planned the crime for a while, he said.

Witness X also said Lundy told him "she had it coming to her".

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In 2013, Witness X was watching television and saw Lundy had been released on bail and a new trial had been ordered.

He tried calling police, but rang the traffic line *555 - however, he hung up when the operator could not put him through to police.

In March 2014, after another jail stint, the man went to a police station and gave a statement about the conversation he and Lundy had.

He had not received anything to give evidence today, he told the court.

He was also not expecting a reward in the future, but came forward because "it was the right thing to do".

During the man's evidence, Lundy wrote notes that were passed to his lawyers.

Under cross examination, defence lawyer Ross Burns told the man that Lundy was convicted after the pair had the conversation and therefore had not been convicted at the time, so he could not have been talking about an appeal.

But the man said that couldn't have been right.

Mr Burns also questioned the man about a letter he had written to a judge while he was in prison on another occasion requesting bail in exchange for information about Lundy.

But Witness X said that letter was never sent because his lawyer suggested he would not be seen as a credible witness if he sent the letter.

Detective Senior Sergeant Warren Olsson told the court he had interviewed the man in relation to the case and confirmed he would not be given any money or compensation for his evidence.

But he said they would ensure his name would be suppressed in court.

The trial in front of Justice Simon France continues.