19 Oct 2017

Lundy defence not set back by murder time - Crown

2:03 pm on 19 October 2017

A change in the time at which the Crown said Christine and Amber Lundy were killed did not disadvantage Mark Lundy's defence team, the Court of Appeal has heard.

Mark Lundy before the verdict.

Mark Lundy in court during the 2015 retrial. Photo: RNZ / Sharon Lundy

Lundy, who has twice been found guilty of murdering his wife and daughter, has gone to the Court of Appeal in an effort to have his 2015 convictions overturned.

The bodies of wife Christine Lundy, 38, and daughter Amber, seven, were found by Mrs Lundy's brother in their Palmerston North home on 30 August 2000. Both had been bludgeoned to death.

At Mark Lundy's first trial the Crown suggested he drove at break-neck speed from Wellington to Palmerston North, killed his family and drove back to Wellington.

However, at the retrial in 2015 it said the deaths had occurred early on the day the bodies were found.

Earlier this week Lundy's lawyer told the Court of Appeal the retrial defence team only became aware of that change shortly before the retrial began.

The Crown lawyer Philip Morgan QC today rejected that suggestion.

He said the defence had plenty of early notice about the Crown's revised time for the deaths of Christine and Amber Lundy.

"In May [2014] they had [the pathologist] Dr Sage's evidence that [the first pathologist] Dr Pang got it all wrong.

"And since August [2014] they'd had the information that there was no manipulation of the Lundy's computer."

Mr Morgan said the defence had also known since October 2014 that the Crown was going to amend its charge notice and had not objected to that.

"The integrity of the criminal justice system couldn't be preserved by me being forced to run the 2015 trial in the same way as the 2002 trial, when there was additional evidence available to everybody, including the defence."

Philip Morgan said Mark Lundy had very experienced and able lawyers at his retrial and they did not ask for the case to be stayed.

"They went to trial recognising the Crown had a good case that this was Christine Lundy's central nervous system tissue on [Mark Lundy's] shirt, and they confronted that with an allegation of contamination by the police, which was the same defence run in 2002.

The defence had also claimed that Lundy's return journey to Palmerston North from Wellington was impossible at both trials, he said.

"In 2002 it was on the basis of him not having enough time; in 2015 it was on the basis he didn't have enough fuel."

The Crown will continue its submissions this afternoon.

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