13/12/2005

Murdoch found guilty of Falconio murder

Bradley Murdoch has been found guilty of the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio.

The jury at the Northern Territory Supreme Court in Darwin also found the 47-year-old mechanic and drugs-runner guilty of the abduction and assault of Mr Falconio’s girlfriend, Joanne Lees.

Following the verdict, the judge, Chief Justice Brian Martin, said: “There is only one judgement that is practised by the law in the Northern Territory and that is imprisonment for life.”

During the trial, the court heard how Murdoch shot Mr Falconio after flagging down the couple’s camper van, near Alice Springs in July 2001. He then tied up Ms Lees, now 32, who later managed to escape and spent five hours hiding in the bush before she was rescued.

The body of Mr Falconio, 28, has never been found.

Following the verdict, Mr Falconio’s family and Ms Lees called for Murdoch to reveal what had happened to Peter’s body.

Murdoch was sentenced to life imprisonment, but the minimum term will be set at a later date. His lawyer, Grant Algie, said that he would appeal the decision.

(KMcA/GB)




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