[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Outback killer denied final appeal
Australian High Court upholds mechanic's life sentence for killing British backpacker.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2007 04:49 GMT
Murdoch attacked the couple after flagging
down their van near Barrow Creek [Reuters]
Australia's highest court has dismissed a final appeal by a mechanic against his life sentence for killing a British tourist and attempting to kidnap his girlfriend six years ago.
 
Bradley John Murdoch was convicted for murdering Peter Falconio and for trying to abduct Joanne Lees in an ambush on a remote stretch of outback highway in July 2001.
The High Court on Thursday refused to hear Murdoch's appeal, saying a lower court was right to allow Lees's testimony as the sole witness to the incident.
 
The ruling shuts the door on further appeals by Murdoch, 48, who is serving a life sentence and is not eligible for parole for 28 years.
Murdoch's lawyers had sought permission to appeal against the sentence saying the trial court was wrong to allow Lees's "tainted" evidence, claiming she had seen an internet photograph of him a month before reporting him to police.
 
Crucial testimony
 
Lees's testimony was central in proving that Murdoch shot Falconio in the head after flagging down the couple's camper van near the outpost of Barrow Creek.
 
At the trial, she said Murdoch threatened her with a gun, punched her in the head and bound her with cable restraints.
 
She told the court how she managed to escape and cowered in the bushes for hours as her attacker hid Falconio's body and then stalked her with a dog.
 
Falconio's body was never found despite attempts by Aboriginal trackers and a clairvoyant to locate it.
 
The authorities believe Murdoch hid the corpse somewhere in Australia's vast interior.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list