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Another Eastman inquiry

By johnboy - 10 August 2012 47

The ABC has the exciting news that Canberra is going to have another inquiry into the murder conviction of David Harold Eastman:

Eastman is serving a life sentence for the murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester after a jury found him guilty in 1995.

Mr Winchester was shot dead near his home in 1989.

Eastman has mounted several challenges to his conviction, including in the High Court.

Justice Shane Marshall today ordered a fresh inquiry saying there are questions about whether Eastman is guilty.


UPDATE 10/08/12 17:50: Simon Corbell has announced it’s going to be a bigger inquiry than seen previously:

“His Honour’s order does not identify the doubt or question in relation to Mr Eastman’s conviction into which the inquiry is to be undertaken, and accordingly the scope of the inquiry will be broader than that previously conducted by Acting Justice Miles into Mr Eastman’s fitness to plead.”

Mr Corbell said the ACT Government would make arrangements to appoint an inquiry.

“I have already spoken with senior executives in the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to ensure that processes are underway to appoint an inquiry, and for it to occur in a timely fashion,” he said.

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
Another Eastman inquiry
lovechocolatte 12:16 pm 11 Aug 12

Talking of ‘dredging up information’… the southern lake foreshore search for the murder weapon was much publicised, finding lots of disposed of items from property crime (bikes, shopping trolleys, motorcycles, etc), but no firearm. Later, a car with the remains of a poor dead girl in it was retrieved from the same area, who I believe had disappeared a dozen years earlier. It isn’t a stretch to contend that if a car containing a person was missed, how easy would it be for a firearm to be missed!?

bundah 11:29 am 11 Aug 12

Mike Crowther said :

breda said :

As has been pointed out, almost no-one does more than 17 years for murder these days.

Breda, while you are perfectly entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts. Plenty of people sentenced for murder do more than 17 years. If you mean in Canberra, well sure… most Murderers go free at court. But the ACT is an exception. In N.S.W. the longest serving murderer is Bill Lane who came into the system in 1960, The Black Prince 40 years, The Murphy’s, 27 years… etc etc. The criteria for release isn’t ‘How long’ but ‘Are they ready to be released’ and David Harold, standing as he is convicted by a Jury, who’s verdict has been upheld in appeal after appeal, is clearly, by his gaol behavior, is not ready to be unleashed on the community. Should yet another appeal or retrial send him on his way, that’s a matter for the likes of old hanging judge Higgins, but as long as he is convicted, he’s where he belongs. Having dealt with the bloke personally on and off for about ten years I wouldn’t even allow him out of prison under secure armed escort to put the bins out. Then again…

According to stats the average time one is incarcerated for murder in this country is 13 years which compares quite favourably,for the killers,to the US where it’s 19 years.Obviously as you’ve mentioned there are exceptions.

farnarkler 11:20 am 11 Aug 12

ToastfliesRED, people in jail, or a recognised rehab centre, only pay $5 per week rent in an ACT Housing property. If he’s done some work whilst in AMC then he can afford his rent.

I really hope he gets out this time. 17 years for a murder is more than most, even if the victim was a cop.

Affirmative Action M 11:19 am 11 Aug 12

Reply to Mike Crowther ” David Harold, standing as he is convicted by a Jury, who’s verdict has been upheld in appeal after appeal”

Very selctive in your evidence Mr Crowther. He was convicted by a jury that did not know that both the forensic evidence & alleged experts were tainted, discredited and not cross examined.

All subsequent appeals have been so narrow in their scope as to make it impossible to review relevant evidence and issues.

In any case as you eloquently pointed out whether he did it or not he is barking mad & should be in a mental health facility not a prison. .

Mike Crowther 10:34 am 11 Aug 12

breda said :

As has been pointed out, almost no-one does more than 17 years for murder these days.

Breda, while you are perfectly entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to your own facts. Plenty of people sentenced for murder do more than 17 years. If you mean in Canberra, well sure… most Murderers go free at court. But the ACT is an exception. In N.S.W. the longest serving murderer is Bill Lane who came into the system in 1960, The Black Prince 40 years, The Murphy’s, 27 years… etc etc. The criteria for release isn’t ‘How long’ but ‘Are they ready to be released’ and David Harold, standing as he is convicted by a Jury, who’s verdict has been upheld in appeal after appeal, is clearly, by his gaol behavior, is not ready to be unleashed on the community. Should yet another appeal or retrial send him on his way, that’s a matter for the likes of old hanging judge Higgins, but as long as he is convicted, he’s where he belongs. Having dealt with the bloke personally on and off for about ten years I wouldn’t even allow him out of prison under secure armed escort to put the bins out. Then again…

Masquara 8:03 pm 10 Aug 12

Jon Stanhope’s most inglorious moment would have to have been when he took the position that saving taxpayer’s money was more important than righting this heinous miscarriage of justice.

Proboscus 7:21 pm 10 Aug 12

Only in Canberra can you get a decision by the highest court in the country overturned by a member of the local council.

It’s a bloody disgrace and he should rot in gaol.

breda 3:05 pm 10 Aug 12

Eastman was (and probably still is) a very intimidating and unstable person – as people who had dealings with him can attest. But the whole case stank from day 1. He was the perfect fall guy, right down to assisting with his own demise with his lunatic behaviour throughout the court cases. If he’d just shut up and behaved, he would probably have got off, as the case was pretty weak. And he’s very far from stupid, rather a paranoid schizophrenic.

As has been pointed out, almost no-one does more than 17 years for murder these days.

The worst thing is that after all this time it is unlikely that we will ever get to the bottom of this. There were all sorts of odd things happening with the cops and the drug trade at that time, but linking the Assistant Commissioner’s murder to that would have been anathema, and still is.

bundah 2:58 pm 10 Aug 12

Antagonist said :

Here comes HenryBG …

This is like music to his ears.Surely they must be burning by now?

ToastFliesRED 2:38 pm 10 Aug 12

and even if he had dunnit (which I have no evidence to prove or to the contrary) after 17 years since conviction he’d be out and about on parole by now anyway! and anyway who’s been paying his rent to ACT Housing for the past 17 years dadgummit gagdummit aww now done I got my cursin tongue all twisted

colourful sydney rac 2:32 pm 10 Aug 12

banco said :

You’d struggle to find someone in the Canberra legal community who thinks he’s guilty. It’s probably too late to untangle the various doings but if you’d had a Royal Commission into the AFP in the ’90’s you would have in all likelihood uncovered a real can of worms.

+1

banco 12:31 pm 10 Aug 12

You’d struggle to find someone in the Canberra legal community who thinks he’s guilty. It’s probably too late to untangle the various doings but if you’d had a Royal Commission into the AFP in the ’90’s you would have in all likelihood uncovered a real can of worms.

Antagonist 12:10 pm 10 Aug 12

Here comes HenryBG …

troll-sniffer 12:00 pm 10 Aug 12

From the moment the crime was reported in the media I had severe doubts about the likelihood the murder was carried out by anyone other than a professional hitman. Nothing I have heard or read since has swayed my suspicions about the case. An enquiry with wide enough powers to explore the murky world of the ‘other’ parties involved with Winchester would IMHO be likely to dredge up some interesting information.

aceofspades 11:14 am 10 Aug 12

What! Eastman not guilty! How could this be? Our non corrupt police force and wonderful legal system has proved that he is so he must be guilty!

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