Appeal launched to put accused serial killer on trial
THE STATE government will challenge a failed bid to have an accused serial killer tried for murdering three Aboriginal Bowraville children nearly three decades ago.
The families of Colleen Walker, 16, Clinton Speedy, 16, and Evelyn Greenup, four, were devastated last week after a retrial application for the man acquitted of two of the crimes was rejected in the state's highest court.
If successful it would have paved the way for all three unsolved murder cases against a 52-year-old man to be heard together and set a new precedent under double jeopardy law.
But three NSW Court of Criminal Appeal judges ruled there wasn't enough "fresh and compelling" evidence and upheld the two acquittals of the man, who now lives in Lake Macquarie.
Attorney-general Mark Speakman on Thursday announced he will lodge an appeal to the Australia's highest court but said he would wait to raise with cabinet whether laws clarifying what is fresh evidence need to change.
"Consideration of any legislative reform should await the resolution of the application before the High Court," he said.
Last week relatives of the kids vowed to continue their decades-long battle for justice.
"We've been kicked in the guts by the court system and the law but we're going to keep fighting," Evelyn's aunt Michelle Jarrett said outside court.
"We're devastated but we're not down."
Clinton's inconsolable aunty Renolla Jerome joined other relatives who pressed their painted palms all over the Supreme Court's tall glass walls in protest.
"We've done everything possible … I'm just so heartbroken," she said.
Cleaners soon began wiping away the clay handprints and Clinton's nephew Marbuck Duroux fought back tears of frustration.
"We've been raised by the same blackfellas that have been knocking on this f***ing doorstep for the last (28) years," he said.
"It's never good enough."
The kids all went missing in the same five-month period in late 1990 and early 1991 when the local man, whose name has been suppressed, lived in a nearby caravan in his mother's garden.
Chief Justice Tom Bathurst dismissed the attorney-general's application, saying there was no fresh evidence in Evelyn's case and the court couldn't consider Clinton's case in isolation.
"The court recognises that this conclusion does deprive the families of the three children and the Bowraville community of the closure which they justifiably seek," he said.
"We know that the grief and loss remains fresh in your minds."