15/12/2005

Minimum 28-year sentence for Falconio murderer

Australian Bradley Murdoch has been sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in prison for the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio.

Murdoch, 47, was found guilty of Mr Falconio’s murder at the Northern Territory Supreme Court in Darwin. He was also convicted of the abduction and assault of Mr Falconio’s girlfriend, Joanne Lees.

During the trial, the court heard how Murdoch flagged down the couple’s camper van near Barrow Creek, on July 14 2001. He shot Mr Falconio and abducted Miss Lees, who later managed to escape, hiding in the bush for five hours before she was rescued. Mr Falconio’s body has never been found.

At sentencing, Chief Justice Brian Martin said that Murdoch had not shown any remorse during the trial. He said: “It is to be hoped, Mr Murdoch, that one day in the future while Mr Falconio’s parents are young enough and in sufficient health to find some peace, you will see your way clear to help them find their peace, by disclosing where you buried the body of their son.”

At the court, statements were read from Miss Lees and Mr Falconio’s mother, Joan.

In her statement, Miss Lees said she had been left “sceptical, untrusting, fearful and heartbroken” since the attack. She said: “On the night this crime was committed, I thought I was going to be raped and murdered. I thought I would never see my family again.”

Referring to Mr Falconio, Miss Lees said: “He was the person who I knew the best and loved the most. He was the one I would travel the world with and shared other experiences with.

“Pete was in the prime of his life. I never imagined not being with him and not sharing my life with him.”

In her statement, Joan Falconio said that she had wanted to die “many times” since Peter’s murder and had lived in constant physical and mental pain.

(KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 December 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.
22 April 2005
British backpacker murder trial postponed
The trial of a man accused of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio has been delayed. Further investigations are to be conducted by both the prosecution and defence teams working on the case, it has been reported. The trial of Bradley John Murdoch was due to begin in Darwin next month.
10 January 2007
Falconio killler loses appeal
The man convicted of the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio has lost his appeal against his conviction and sentence. Lawyers for 48-year-old Bradley Murdoch had argued that he had suffered a "substantial miscarriage of justice".
17 August 2015
Appeal Issued For Missing Pregnant Woman
Derbyshire Police have appealed for help tracing a missing pregnant woman. 21-year-old Kayleigh Goodhead, from Ripley, has not been seen since Saturday, 15 August. It is understood that she left her friend'd house in Derby Road, Heanor at around 21:30 that night and was seen getting into a silver car.
27 February 2012
Education Secretary Renews Public Relationship With Murdoch
The long standing relationship between Conservative MP Michael Gove and Rupert Murdoch has been publicly re-established this weekend when the education secretary and former Times journalist, attacked the Leveson inquiry, calling it a threat to press freedom, and praised Murdoch, “Whenever anyone sets up a new newspaper – as Rupert Murdoch has with