12 Feb 2015

Lundy's movements under spotlight

6:30 am on 12 February 2015

Murder accused Mark Lundy's movements the day before his wife and daughter were found bludgeoned to death are under the spotlight - including a conversation about trying to increase the couple's life insurance.

The bodies of Christine Lundy, 38, and her seven-year-old daughter, Amber, were found in their Palmerston North home on 30 August 2000.

Mark Lundy on day three of the trial.

Mark Lundy on day three of the trial. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Key points from day three of the trial

  • Murder-accused Mark Lundy told a business acquaintance he and wife Christine had tried to increase their life insurance to $1 million each but were both knocked back - to $500,000 - due to their weight.
  • Former police electronics expert Maarten Kleintjes rejects assertion his evidence has changed from the last trial regarding whether the last shutdown time on the Lundy computer was manipulated. Mr Kleintjes also denies all knowledge of a laptop at the Lundy home.
  • FBI analyst Troy Kelly can find no evidence the time on the Lundy computer was manipulated, and can also find no link between that computer and any laptop.
  • Mark Lundy's late father, William Lundy, said in a statement read to the court there was no violence or infidelity in their marriage.
  • Christine Lundy's late mother, Helen Weggery, said in a statement read to the court the Lundys had tried to have another child but were unable to, despite seeing a specialist, and Amber was "the apple of their eye".
  • Amber's dance teacher, Dean McKerras, told the court Amber had attended her usual dance class on 29 August wearing her favourite pink and orange leotard with blue tights.

Court told of Petone visit

Mr Lundy, 56, is on trial in the High Court at Wellington charged with murdering the pair and yesterday the court was told of Mr Lundy's movements around the Lower Hutt suburb of Petone on 29 August, as he went about his job as salesman for the couple's kitchen sink business.

That included a visit to Keith Bradbury at QA, where he was manager of QA Joinery in Petone, about 11.30am - much earlier in the day than Mr Lundy usually visited the business.

"He told me that they (the Lundys) were looking at updating their life insurances and he'd been knocked back due to some quite big concerns from the doctor," Mr Bradbury said.

They had tried to get insurance for $1 million each but were allowed only $500,000 each due to both being overweight, Mr Bradbury told the court Mr Lundy had said.

Mr Lundy regularly visited QA Joinery and Mr Bradbury agreed he had previously described him as a "terrific guy".

Usually they chatted about such things as cars and "general life" but Mr Lundy had brought up the life insurance topic that day, Mr Bradbury said.

"Obviously I don't bring up people's life insurances but it was just a topic that came up in conversation," he said.

The court was also told of Mr Lundy's routine visits to such places as Ferndale Furniture and the Home Ideas Centre.

The prosecution on Monday - day one of Mr Lundy's trial - claimed Mr Lundy checked into the Petone Foreshore Motel that evening and was visited by a prostitute before driving north to Palmerston North, killing Mrs Lundy and Amber, then returning to the Petone motel.

The prosecution also said Mr Lundy parked on the road outside the motel, rather than in its carpark, so his car would not be heard starting up in the night; a witness today told of seeing a late model dark blue Ford Falcon parked in the street.

No evidence change

Earlier yesterday, former police computer expert Marteen Kleintjes rejected an assertion his evidence had changed from the last time Mr Lundy was tried for the murder of his wife and daughter.

Mr Kleintjes, an electronics expert for the police for 30 years, told the court the last activity on the computer on 29 August was at 3.40pm and that it was shutdown at 10.52pm.

Earlier witnesses have told the court Mrs Lundy habitually went to bed about 11pm, after first checking emails and shutting down the computer.

Defence counsel David Hislop, QC, said in cross-examination of Mr Kleintjes the time of shutdown was crucial to Mr Lundy's first trial, as police then believed Mrs Lundy and Amber had been killed about 7pm.

If the computer had not been manipulated, Mrs Lundy would still have been alive at 10.52pm and therefore Mr Lundy could not have killed her at 7pm, Mr Hislop said, maintaining Mr Kleintjes must have known that as "everyone in New Zealand knew".

Mr Kleintjes told the jury in that first trial "extensive manipulation has taken place on this machine", Mr Hislop said.

"You were telling the jury that this computer had been manipulated."

But Mr Kleintjes said Mr Hislop was confusing two issues; he was talking about files being manipulated to become out of order, rather than the shutdown time.

"My evidence hasn't changed," Mr Kleintjes said.

Mr Hislop repeatedly questioned Mr Kleintjes about a laptop apparently taken from the Lundy home but which the latter said he had no knowledge of.

Mr Hislop: "Was there something on that laptop that was inconsistent with the then Crown case that you want to bury?"

Mr Kleintjes: "I can't recall the laptop."

Troy Kelly, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigative analysis unit, said he was asked to look at a copy of the Lundys' computer hard drive made by Mr Kleintjes.

He said he found nothing to suggest that the time on the computer system had been manipulated but that it could be done, and in such a way which left no trace.

He could find no evidence it was linked in any way to a laptop, Mr Kelly told the court.

* Clarification - For the avoidance of doubt, please note that Radio New Zealand reporter Sharon Lundy is no relation to Mark Lundy.