Eastman to seek re-opening of appeal

Thumper 26 September 2007 31

The SHM is reporting that David Eastman, sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting and killing Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989 is seeking to have his appeal reopened.

His previous appeal, in 1999 and 2000 both failed.

A judicial review of his case was ordered in 2003, with Eastman arguing he was not fit to plead at the time of his trial in 1995

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31 Responses to Eastman to seek re-opening of appeal
Special G Special G 7:02 am 01 Oct 07

The way JR writes and his passion I’m betting on law student.

vandam vandam 9:48 pm 30 Sep 07

All I can say is he is hated by everyone, except Jack. The inmates hate him, Police hate him, parole officers hate him, the courts hate him……..it goes on. He should just give it up and resign himself to rotting in jail.

ant ant 9:43 am 30 Sep 07

During his various trials, Eastman was supported by some of his mates in the ANU law faculty. It was they who came up with the ruse of getting judges to disqualify themselves. When this started, he was on trial for some of his hundreds of offences against ordinary people.

Every day, he was out, scaring and assaulting and threatening people. It seems that some people took up Eastman as their pet, their “cause”, with no regard to the fact that he was a violent bully.

I also heard that even when on remand before being tried for the Winchester matter, he managed to antagonise the other inmates (some quite good stories about what they did to him).

I think I read somewhere that he had made friends with Milat in gaol, also.

vandam vandam 9:10 am 30 Sep 07

And on Jack Waterfords article; It’s clear the type of person he is when he’s a mate and sticking up for Eastman. Sometimes I wonder about Jack. How can someone so stupid get Citizen of the year. That award is now officially a joke. Jack comes up with crap everyweek. His articles don’t make sense, they are one sided and bias. Surely he’s due for a heart attack soon!

Maelinar Maelinar 5:51 pm 28 Sep 07

I’ve never met him.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 4:38 pm 28 Sep 07

Is there anyone in Canberra that HASN’T had a run it with this knobber?

bonfire bonfire 4:32 pm 28 Sep 07

post the response here.

there is interest.

ct is not the only avenue in town – at least on riotact you can have a fair say.

an agency i had an association with used to employ eastman. he retained a list of internal numbers after he left.

staff used to recieve calls from him – not pleasant ones.

a memo went out about ignoring him and how that was ok. this occurred after people hung up on him – and he made official complaints!

sure he is nuts. but do you really think he could organise and pull off a murder as he is supposed to have done ?

very few elements of the prosecution case stand scrutiny in isolation, let alone when used to link them to eastman.


Mike Crowther Mike Crowther 11:10 pm 27 Sep 07

Fluges, you seem to accept it as gospel that Eastman is being harassed in gaol. My information is that his every moment is filmed in order to provide evidence to the multitude of oversight agencies that Eastman complains to that this is not the case. He may well cop flack from other prisoners, but this is what happens when you have a borderline personality disorder. It’s either that, or solitary.
The Canberra times recently devoted a two column opinion piece where Jack Waterford took the position of Eastman as victim. Unfortunately a point by point response by the union representing the staff at Belconnen Remand Centre was never published and so the public was left with only half-truths and Eastman’s lies.

If the Judges hearing Eastman’s matters keep overruling his custodians about what items he can and can’t be given, then the situation will arise where he does manage to get his hands on rocks and worse.
It’s a good illustration as to why Prison Officers shouldn’t get up on the bench and run trials, and why judges shouldn’t try to micromanage courtroom security.

Fluges Fluges 6:39 pm 26 Sep 07

Clerk Class 10 and 11 = EL2

Personally, I’d hate to be locked up for a crime I didn’t commit. How do you reckon you’d feel?

sepi sepi 6:29 pm 26 Sep 07

what level was clerk class 11?

if Eastman did get a new trial, wouldn’t it just go the way of the old one – endless appeals to the judge to disqualify themself, endlessly sacking his lawyers, representing himself for a bit, getting extensions, getting new lawyers, sacking them etc etc.

I agree the whole thing is pretty murky, but some people really don’t help their own cause.

Fluges Fluges 6:13 pm 26 Sep 07

I met David Eastman in the mid-80’s, as did a lot of public servants when he was trying to get back into the APS and was being referred to temporary jobs that were far below his previous position as a Clerk Class 11.

He was a nasty piece of work, but I think the evidence against him is pretty weak and that he didn’t get a fair trial.

He was just a local nasty nutter (I guess he’s got some sort of medical condition) that the police set up. Their investigation of him amounted to harassment and the evidence against him has been seriously questioned by lawyers and forensic scientists. Apparently he is still being harassed in gaol by overzealous officials, determined to make his life miserable.

I think Eastman should get a new trial, from scratch, with proper legal representation and with all the evidence reviewed. I took great interest in this case because I lived in Deakin at the time of the shooting, just a few streets away and because I’d met him through work and found him pretty disagreeable. Indeed, he made complaints against me to senior management. But, the evidence against him seemed pretty dodgy and I was surprised when he was convicted, as were a lot of others at the time.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:27 pm 26 Sep 07

I stand by my argument. By imposing a limit on appeals, it will force people to think long and hard, and do diligent research before presenting their case.

In the case of mistaken imprisonment, it would be evidence to prove that the offender did not do the crime

In the case of miscarriage of justice, it would be when the incarcerated member could prove that a miscarriage of justice was done.

By limiting it to 3 times, the emphasis is put on the individual to get it right, rather than the court to administer an arbitary appeals process that is uneccesary and time-wasting.

ant ant 3:12 pm 26 Sep 07

We had frequent incidents with Eastman while he was still running around Canberra. He assaulted (punched) one of our staff on one occasion, and the police reckoned that at that time, he had over 300 separate charges pending against him (for similar things). If Eastman ever was to be released, I wonder if all those matters would be resumed?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:50 pm 26 Sep 07

They showed footage of Eastman on the ABC News last night, and I have to ask does anyone know what the hell was the go with Eastman turning up to court with a rock in his hand one day and a plastic water pistol on another?

asp asp 2:45 pm 26 Sep 07

I accept that you don’t beleive Eastmen did it. But you have to admit that he is not the full quid. Who else could have done it? Why do so many belive Eastman did it?
I too am not privy to anything more than what is available to the public.
And what is with the rock? You know, the rock Eastman is holding next to his head in the file footage as he enters court? How can you even take a rock to court?

As for appeals. Yes, new evidence is certainly ground for an appeal or even a retrial. But debating whether the judge was nice or whether the defendant had a brain at the time for decades after the conviction is ridiculous.

JD114 JD114 1:46 pm 26 Sep 07

I for one have never believed Eastman did it. Not because I’m privy to any evidence, but because there’s something not right about the circumstances, the style, what I’ve read of the available evidence etc.

The fact that Winchester ruffled some Calabrian style feathers, the manner of the shooting, Eastman’s continual vehement denials, all point to a case that has only been resolved to the satisfaction of the legal system.

However, despite misgivings, there are many in the community who think Eastman should be locked up for just being who he is, and a form of natural justice is at work anyway!

Jazz Jazz 12:08 pm 26 Sep 07


we’re working on new features it just takes us a bit of time to implement between our day jobs.

As for the topic at hand i’m not denying the right to appeal where new evidence comes to light. I dont think that this is the case here as ant mentions in his post above. In this instance its about the conduct of the trial, NOT the evidence.

ant ant 11:48 am 26 Sep 07

During the original trial, and subsequent appeals, Eastman’s legal people attempted the mental illness tack, but Eastman would overturn it. I’m surprised he’s using this pretext to appeal, and suspect that at some point, he’ll back down on the mental thing and try to use some other pretext.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 11:34 am 26 Sep 07


It is a matter of balance.

You may feel strongly in this particular case because with the information you have available, you feel that the individual is guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”.

But stop for a second.

Think about the cases where people have been found guilty and incarcerated for long periods, only for it to be revealed later that they actually innocent.

Typically this may discovered many years later when the original perpetrator eventually confesses, new evidence comes to light, or it could be due to an original miscarriage of justice (whatever reason – does it really matter?). Would you still consider curtailing the incarcerated individuals’ right to appeal, given that is only known with hindsight that their protestations of innocence were true?

bonfire bonfire 11:30 am 26 Sep 07

eastman is a patsy.

crime – nutter – arrest – result.

im not convinced – on the evidence ive seen – that he is guilty.

one day a book will be written about this.

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