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Eastman retrial to go ahead from July 2017

By Charlotte Harper - 2 December 2016 6

david-eastman

David Eastman will face a new trial over the 1989 killing of Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester, the ABC reports.

The ACT Court of Appeal has thrown out Eastman’s most recent appeal and a new trial is scheduled to start in July next year.

The former public servant had served 19 years in prison after being convicted in 1995 for the murder of Winchester. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole after being found guilty of shooting Winchester twice in the head at point blank range in the driveway of Winchester’s home in Deakin on January 10, 1989.

In 2014, a judicial inquiry recommended the sentence should be quashed and Eastman pardoned due to a “substantial miscarriage of justice”, with Justice Brian Ross Martin arguing forensic evidence on which the conviction was based was “deeply flawed”. Eastman was freed.

On August 22 of that year, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial despite Justice Martin’s view that a retrial would be unfair and unfeasible.

The ACT Government allocated more than $5 million for the retrial of Eastman and related proceedings in 2016-17 according to the ACT Budget papers.

For the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s expenses in relation to the retrial a total of $3,371,000 was allocated, to be divided between ACT Courts costs and those of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Budget allocated $1,707,000 for the Legal Aid Commission to cover its expenses in relation to the matter.

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6 Responses to
Eastman retrial to go ahead from July 2017
Colin Richardson 9:37 pm 28 Dec 16

At about 9.15pm on 10 January 1989 Assistant Commissioner Winchester was shot in the head twice as he was getting out of his car having returned home from a visit to his brother. Eastman was an early suspect since, as was widely known, he was angry with Winchester and the AFP over perceived mistreatment. He was unsuccessfully seeking to get the police to drop assault charges — arising out of an incident with his neighbour, Mr Russo, in December 1987 — which he thought posed a serious obstacle to his re-entry into the Commonwealth Public Service.

So Eastman shoots Winchester. Really? Over his re-entry into the Commonwealth Public Service!

rommeldog56 11:04 pm 04 Dec 16

John Moulis said :

……the cost of a new trial cannot be justified in these days of financial stringency and budget deficits.

What “financial stringency” ?? Up to $14b est. for the Tram network and $1.7b for Tram stage 1 ? What about all the election promises by ACT Labor/Greens/Lib’s. More billions of $ in those. And what about the pay rise from $2 per vote to $8 per vote that ACT Labor/Lib’s voted themselves. That cost millions of ratepayers $. And many, many more millions of $ pa on the new MLAs and associated staffers. What “financial stringency”, exactly ? Its a spend-a-thon !!

And what territory budget deficit ? Despite warnings pre and post the recent election about the state of the Territory’s budget, I don’t think voters/ratepayers in Canberra really give two hoots about that anyway,

Canberra seems to be in an alternate universe – much disconnected from the rest of the country.

John Moulis 10:42 am 04 Dec 16

I have no brief for Eastman. He was a serial pest who caused us no end of trouble at The Tower Restaurant, but he has done his time and seems to have blended back into the community since being released with no problems being recorded.

Remember that the new trial will start in July 2017, almost 30 years after the shooting. Many of the witnesses have passed on, much of the evidence and exhibits were corrupted during the uncertain period in the transition to self government and the chain of command at the AFP being complicated by the demarcation between the Feds and ACT Policing, and the cost of a new trial cannot be justified in these days of financial stringency and budget deficits.

The whole issue has been put to bed, people have moved on and it should now be just an exhibit in the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Masquara 8:15 pm 03 Dec 16

Maryann Mussared said :

Well if anyone didn’t recognise the name in my comment on the list of famous Canberrans last week, this is who I meant. And I know exactly where I was when I heard Colin Winchester had been shot …

Me too. I happened to be in the ABC building on Northbourne.

Maryann Mussared 2:00 pm 03 Dec 16

Well if anyone didn’t recognise the name in my comment on the list of famous Canberrans last week, this is who I meant. And I know exactly where I was when I heard Colin Winchester had been shot …

Masquara 8:31 pm 02 Dec 16

oh for gawd’s sake. He has done 20 years! Enough already.

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