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".

Murdoch is serving a life sentence for the murder of Peter Falconio, 28, on a remote road near Barrow Creek in the Australian outback in 2001.

He was also found guilty of abducting and assaulting Mr Falconio's girlfriend, Joanne Lees, now 33, who managed to escape.

Mr Falconio's body has never been found and Murdoch has always denied killing him.

Lawyers for Murdoch had appealed against both the conviction and the 28-year sentence he had received.

The appeal was rejected in view of DNA evidence against Murdoch. His DNA was found in a number of locations, including a bloodstain on Miss Lees' T-shirt, which the appeal judges said established that Murdoch was present when she was attacked.

The judges said that when other evidence was taken into court, it established Murdoch's guilt "beyond reasonable doubt".

The appeal against the sentence was also rejected, with the judges describing the killing as "cold-blooded and premeditated".

Murdoch can now apply for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia.


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