Australia: Police evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaPolice evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal

15:51  22 july  2019
15:51  22 july  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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The actions of WA Police investigators have come into question, as a convicted murderer's historic appeal began in the state's highest court.

Scott Austic is serving a life sentence for the 2007 murder of his 35-year-old pregnant lover Stacey Thorne, who was stabbed 21 times in her Boddington home, south-east of Perth.

The former mechanic has always maintained his innocence.

Police evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal © 9News Scott Austic is serving a life sentence for the 2007 murder of his 35-year-old pregnant lover Stacey Thorne, who was stabbed 21 times in her Boddington home, south-east of Perth. Police evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal © 9News A packet of Winfield Blue cigarettes, allegedly stained with the victim's blood, which was photographed at Mr Austic's house.

His lawyers are fighting to have the conviction thrown out, claiming key pieces of evidence may have been planted.

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Among them, a packet of Winfield Blue cigarettes, allegedly stained with the victim's blood, which was photographed at Mr Austic's house.

Nowhere to be seen in the initial forensic search, it suddenly appeared in photos taken by police 30 hours later. Police now claim it was "innocently" placed on the table for the purpose of taking a photo. Questions have also been raised about the alleged murder weapon, found by police in a paddock days after SES volunteers scoured the area.

Lawyers argue the weapon would have been discovered in the initial search, if it were there.

Police evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal © 9News The court is also expected to hear from forensic experts, who say the bloodied knife could not have caused the wounds on Ms Thorne's body. Police evidence questioned in convicted murderer’s sentence appeal © 9News The packet of cigarettes was nowhere to be seen in the initial forensic search, but suddenly appeared in photos taken by police 30 hours later.

The court is also expected to hear from forensic experts, who say the bloodied knife could not have caused the wounds on Ms Thorne's body.

After exhausting all his appeals, Mr Austic was granted a rare second chance to clear his name by the WA Attorney-General, due to concerns about some evidence.

His mother Robyn Austic said she hopes to finally have her son home.

"I believed him from day one," she said.

The hearing has been set down for seven days.

WA detectives deny planting evidence at convicted killer's house.
Scott Austic is serving a life sentence for the 2007 murder of Stacey Thorne, who was stabbed to death in her Boddington home, south-east of Perth. He's now appealing his conviction for a second time, claiming key pieces of evidence were planted. © 9News Stacey Thorne was killed by Scott Austic in 2007. The officer in charge of the case, retired detective John Hendricksen, was today grilled over his discovery of a bloodied knife in a paddock that had already been searched by SES volunteers. Mr Hendricksen said he decided to walk the route between the crime scene and Austic's house to familiarise himself with it.

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