24 Feb 2015

Evidence challenged at Lundy trial

10:14 am on 24 February 2015

The spectre of contaminated evidence has again been raised in the High Court murder trial of Mark Lundy, who is accused of killing his wife and daughter.

Mark Lundy on the first day of his trial.

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

Mark Lundy, 56, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Christine and Amber Lundy, whose bodies were found in their Palmerston North home on 30 August 2000. They had been bludgeoned to death.

The Crown contends he killed his 38-year-old wife for her insurance money, and his seven-year-old daughter because she saw what he was doing to her mother.

Key points from day 11:

Defence lawyer David Hislop, QC, yesterday questioned Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Hughes, who was in charge of control and security at the Lundys' home after their deaths.

"Before you enter the scene, is this right, it's extremely important where there is a serious crime scene to have a crime scene examination strategy designed for that particular scene," Mr Hislop asked Mr Hughes.

Such a plan would set out what needed to be done to minimise contamination, such as the "golden rule" of not entering a property the same way the offender had.

Mr Hughes agreed but said in this case there had not been such a plan. He also said the rule of where to enter was dependent on other factors as well, such as where the crime was committed.

Mark Lundy's lead lawyer David Hislop

Mark Lundy's lead lawyer David Hislop Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Hughes had earlier said all personnel involved in investigating the scene had worn protective clothing, booties and gloves.

However, Mr Hislop had a video played to the court which showed someone in the lounge of the house - apparently watching TV - who was not wearing protective gear.

A second video showed two officers leaving the house, neither of whom was wearing booties or protective overalls.

Mr Hughes recognised him as the officer who had been charged with fingerprinting the house.

However, "he wasn't examining at that point, and that's my point", he said.

Jurors view crime scene photos

The jury yesterday viewed graphic photos of the bludgeoned bodies of Mrs Lundy and Amber - some of them pixelated - which showed blood splattered up ceilings and on walls.

Justice France had warned jurors before they saw the photos that while every effort had been made to minimise their impact, "they do show the deceased as they were in the house".

Mr Hughes said Amber's head and shoulders were protruding out of her parents' bedroom doorway. She was face down and there was heavy blood staining on her, the floor, walls and surrounding doorway.

From there Mr Hughes looked into the bedroom.

"My first observation was that there was a naked woman lying on the bed. There was a large amount of blood around her" and in and around the bedroom, he said.

"I would say that she was unrecognisable because of the injuries that she had sustained."

The jury was also shown a window seized from the Lundys' home which was found to have traces of blood on it. It also had marks where a tool had been used to force it open, Mr Hughes said.

Mr Lundy's retrial, before Justice Simon France and a jury of seven men and five women, is in its third week in the High Court in Wellington.

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

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