Luke Margaritis – World travelling teacher and convicted paedophile


When Luke Margaritis was 13, he had the excitement & joy of performing in the opening & closing ceremonies of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
What made him want to take away excitement, joy & hope from other teens?

Read what this pig has been up to, BRISBANE folks may or may not know he USED to run a  cafe/coffee shop UNTIL HE WENT BACK TO PRISON. (Milk Espresso Bar & Tea House) Video a bit further down. If governments continue to do sweet F all we have to do it. 

Luke Margaritis - World traveling teacher & convicted paedophile

Luke Margaritis – World traveling teacher & convicted paedophile

 In 2002, he was a chaperone to Ducie High pupils as they practiced for Manchester 2002.

 In 1994, Margaritis took advantage of a 15-year-old student by giving him “a big cone” of marijuana before abusing him.

 In 1995, Margaritis plied a 13 year old boy with drugs & alcohol before abusing him.

 Both boys were students at St Edmund’s College.

 In 2010/2011, he moved to a little tiny town in Norseman Western Australia where he continued to teach disadvantaged students aged 12 – 16.

 In 2013, he opened a coffee shop in Brisbane called Milk Espresso Bar & Tea House.

This teacher has been all around Europe teaching, including Dulcie High.
If you or anyone you know have been abused by this man, Please contact your local police.

 

About these ads

Brett Cowan-VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO


All previous  posts, including round up of  every day of trial press here

TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO

press read more to read transcript

Continue reading

GERARD BADEN-CLAY Hearing 3rd Feb 2014-UPDATED


04/02/14 UPDATE FOR DAY 2

ALLISON Baden-Clay went to see a family counsellor about her husband’s three-year affair with a staff member, a court has been told today.

Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

The Brookfield mum also detailed her history of depression to the counsellor, the court was told at a pre-trial hearing.

The routine hearing is to resolve legal issues ahead of the Gerard Baden-Clay’s upcoming murder trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Allison told the counsellor her husband Gerard’s attitude to the depression was that he was “over it” and that it had contributed to the affair, the court was told.

The court heard the counsellor later had a separate session with Gerard where he said he wanted to leave the affair in the past but reluctantly agreed to 15-minute discussions with his wife every second night.

Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012. He has been charged with her murder and is due to face trial in June.

Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie told the court the first session with Allison was at Spring Hill on March 27, 2012, and lasted about an hour.

Allison described herself as a mother of three who worked with her husband’s real estate agency four days a week, Ms Ritchie told the court.

She told the counsellor that after taking malaria medication on her honeymoon she had a “very severe reaction” and suffered chronic depression and “psychotic episodes”.

She had seen a psychologist during her second pregnancy and had been on and off medication ever since.

Allison said her husband had an affair for three years and at least partly blamed her depression, Ms Richie said.

Asked to describe her problems in a few words she told the counsellor: “Inadequate. Not good enough. Believe I let it happen. Gerard’s way is the right way. Gerard had an affair for the last three years. Parenting, Gerard criticises me. Fear that one day he will leave me”.

Allison told the counsellor she wanted to “work on me” and sort out issues with parenting, the court was told.

Allison found out about Gerard’s affair on September 14, 2011, Ms Ritchie said.

The affair started on August 27, 2008, four days after Gerard and Allison’s own anniversary, the counsellor said.

Ms Ritchie said Allison told her: “I confronted him. He is now honest and takes responsibility. He blames me for some of it, the depression.”

Allison said that two years ago on their anniversary she surprised Gerard by asking: “What’s wrong with us?”

She told the counsellor Gerard replied: “I’ve had enough. I want to leave.”

Allison said she put it down to a midlife crisis.

Allison said Gerard’s personality was “ambitious and leader like” and he had high expectations of her and the children, Ms Richie told the court.

She told the counsellor her father felt as though “he was controlling her”, the court was told.

In her case notes, the counsellor wrote her opinion that Allison was a “conflict avoider who has said yes too many times in the relationship”.

To Gerard, Allison was not the girl he married, while Gerard had changed to a “look after myself” attitude, the court was told.

Ms Ritchie said she told Allison at the end of the session she could bring Gerard to the next session if she wanted.

Allison said she did not believe Gerard would want to come.

However at the next appointment on April 16, 2012, both Allison and Gerard were in the waiting room.

Ms Ritchie told the court she took Gerard into her room on his own at first. She said she had planned to spend half the hour-long session with him and then see them both together, but the session with Gerard went for most of the hour.

“I was surprised to see Gerard there as well. That was because Allison thought he would not come,” Ms Ritchie told the court.

The session, at Kenmore, was four days before Baden-Clay reported his wife missing.

Ms Ritchie said she took a standard 60-second snapshot with Gerard, but he didn’t say much about himself personally, talking instead about his work and achievements.

The court heard that after further questions Gerard told the counsellor: “Allison does not trust me. She questions me. She says yes when she means no.”

He told the counsellor of Allison’s disappointment with her life and that he used to blame his wife for disappointments in his own life, the court was told.

He said he attended the session because Allison wanted him to.

He wanted to “build a future” with his wife and to leave the affair behind him and thought discussing the affair with Allison was a regression, Ms Ritchie told the court.

“He wants to get on with life. Wipe it clean,” the counsellor said she wrote in her notes from the session.

“He needs to accept seven or eight months is very early days yet and to ‘steel’ himself for the long haul.”

Ms Ritchie told the court she advised Baden-Clay he could not ignore his wife’s feelings about the affair.

“I spoke about the fact he did have to sit and listen to Allison’s feelings about the affair.

“I told him that he can’t put this in the past because for Allison that past is very much in the present.”

Gerard did not want to take the advice.

“Isn’t that regression? Isn’t that living in the past?” he asked.

They went back and forth until “eventually he agreed”.

Ms Ritchie said she told Gerard to listen to Allison for 10 to 15 minutes every second night. She said she “always” limited such talks because they were “highly emotional”.

Gerard’s role was to “simply listen … absolutely not be defensive” and at the end to express remorse if that was how he felt.

Ms Ritchie told the court she went outside to get Allison from the waiting room and apologised for taking so long with her husband.

“Her face broke into a smile and she said ‘I’m over the moon you have spent this time with him’.”

Ms Ritchie said when she was back in the room with both Baden-Clay and his wife she went over the plan for the 10 to 15-minute talks, which were to continue until the next session in a week or two.

“I saw her say to Gerard ‘I am over the moon that you have spent this time’. But it was a defensive, hurt way that she was saying it.”

Asked in court about Allison’s mood, she said: “I think she was very pleased to introduce me to Gerard. She was smiling.”

Ms Ritchie added that Gerard discussed his roles in the school P&C and the local chamber of commerce.

“For Gerard, his image in the community is very important…He believes he is a valuable member of society,” the counsellor said she wrote in her notes.

The next session was never booked, with Baden-Clay reporting his wife missing on the Friday of that week.

Barrister Michael Byrne QC, for Baden-Clay, put to the witness that Allison’s depression and early panic attacks went back to taking the malaria medication during her honeymoon and to her pregnancy with the couple’s first child, who was born in 2001.

Mr Byrne said between Allison’s discovery of the affair and the first session with the counsellor Baden-Clay had “reached the point where he was honest and was taking responsibility”.

“His attitude to the affair is to wipe it clean and get on with life. What she’s saying to you there was put the past behind them put the affair out of life and move on as a couple,” Mr Byrne said.

Ms Ritchie agreed Allison wanted to move on as a couple.

03/02/14 Not much to report from today’s hearing, day 1 of 2

ACCUSED wife murderer Gerard Baden-Clay returned to court in Brisbane on Monday for legal argument ahead of his upcoming trial.

Scratches on the accused, Gerard Baden-Clay.

Scratches on the accused, Gerard Baden-Clay.

The routine hearing to determine which evidence can be put before a jury is scheduled to run for two days in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Dressed in a dark suit and wearing a tie, the 43-year-old former real estate agent watched proceedings from the dock.

The court heard from the pathologist who carried out Allison Baden-Clay’s post-mortem examination.

Legal argument centred on the admissibility of parts of his evidence, and that of medical experts who assessed scratches and other marks found on Baden-Clay following his wife’s disappearance.

The couple’s former family counsellor is expected to give evidence in court for the first time when the hearing resumes on Tuesday.

Mrs Baden-Clay, 43, was reported missing by her husband on April 20, 2012.

Her body was found 10 days later on the banks of a creek in Brisbane’s west.

The last court related update is as follows from back in December 2013.

The many GBC posts can be found here or here http://aussiecriminals.com.au/tag/gerard-baden-clay/

A family counsellor can be called to give evidence at the murder trial of Brisbane man Gerard Baden-Clay, a judge has ruled.

The Relationships Australia counsellor had argued her conversations with Baden-Clay, 43, and his slain wife Allison, were confidential.

However, Supreme Court judge James Douglas on Thursday ruled counsellor Carmel Ritchie will be required to give evidence at a pre-trial hearing next year.

The ruling means the crown can call Ms Ritchie as a witness during the trial, which has been set down for June next year.

The counsellor spoke with Mrs Baden-Clay on March 27, 2012, and with Baden-Clay and his wife separately on April 16, 2012.

Baden-Clay sat in the dock during Thursday’s brief hearing.

Mrs Baden-Clay was reported missing on April 20 last year, and her body was found on the banks of a creek in Brisbane’s west 10 days later.

Baden-Clay was arrested in June 2012 and charged with murder.

He maintains he is innocent.

In an earlier court hearing, Relationships Australia’s barrister George Kalimnios had argued the Family Law Act prohibited Ms Ritchie giving evidence, and could claim privilege on the grounds of public interest.

But in his written judgement on Thursday, Justice Douglas said both arguments were misconceived, and there were no grounds to claim privilege.

“Even if such a privilege existed separate from the Act, the balance is decisively in favour of permitting access to the evidence for the purposes of Mr Baden-Clay’s trial on the charge of murder.”

Matters before the Court 3rd Feb 2014

reserved

Joan Ryther raped & murdered whilst pregnant


When the husband of a murdered woman writes to me asking why her case is not on my website called aussiecriminals I really had no answer for him, other than I had not been here much last year. Pathetic really, so the best I can today in honour of Joan’s memory is to ensure this stays up and we highlight the search for justice in the coming months…

Please read and refresh your memories, it was indeed an awful crime.

Joan Ryther,  who was raped and murdered whilst pregnant last year is still awaiting justice, as is her grieving Australian husband Cory Ryther, as well as her family in the Philippines .

The 18-year-old alleged rapist and murderer cannot be named for legal reasons, has been in custody since June 2013.

Although a suspect was quickly arrested and charged we still need to be reminded what an awful senseless wicked crime this was, as we await the trial to take place.

Joan Ryther

Joan Ryther

Mrs Ryther was three months pregnant when she was raped and killed on her way home from work in suburban Logan in May.

Her partially clothed body was found on the lawn of a Leichhardt Street home at Logan Central, not far from the McDonald’s at which she worked.

It was 8.23pm on May 21 2013 when a council security camera picked up the teenager accused of the rape and murder of Joan Ryther walking into a service station with four of his mates, a court has heard.

They were inside just long enough to steal a couple of screwdrivers before they were again on their way, the camera outside a nearby KFC store showing them as they turned into Mayes Ave four minutes later, according to documents filed in the court yesterday deciding her alleged killer’s application for bail.

From Mayes Ave, the group walked into Leichhardt St where they found a white car parked outside No. 50.

They used a stolen screwdriver to smash a back window when a shout sent them scurrying away, the court documents say.

The four mates fled up the street towards Mayes Park. They would later tell police it was at this point they lost the teen, who took off in the opposite direction towards McDonald’s, the court documents say.

On that same night, police allege 27-year-old Ryther, eight weeks pregnant with her first child, switched off her home computer and left her Mayes Ave home for the 25-minute walk along her street and into Leichhardt St to the McDonald’s store where she worked.

She was due to start her shift at 9pm although colleagues say she would regularly arrive around 15 minutes early.

In refusing bail for the man accused of raping and murdering Logan woman Joan Ryther, a court has been told of his alleged movements on the night.

It was on Leichhardt St about 100m from her work that police believe she crossed paths with the teen now accused of killing her.

The series of events that police say led to the 18-year-old running into Mrs Ryther as she walked along the footpath were detailed in documents handed to the Supreme Court yesterday when his lawyers made an application for bail.

“Investigating police submit, on reasonable grounds, available evidence strongly places the defendant in Leichhardt (street) at approximately 8.30pm on 21 May, 2013, which is a time that corresponds with the likely time the deceased was walking in that street to attend work,” a police affidavit states.

From there, the court heard, the teenager’s movements “could not be accounted for” for around an hour and a half.

It was the following morning that a passer-by spotted Mrs Ryther’s body face down in the front garden of 30 Leichhardt St.

The teenager has been charged with murder, rape and the unlawful assault of a pregnant woman.

 Prosecutor Vicki Loury told the court the teenager’s DNA was found on four areas of Mrs Ryther’s clothing both on the front and back of her jumper and on the pants that were left around her ankles. Blood on a bandage from his hand belonged to Mrs Ryther, forensic tests have revealed.

But court documents show police are still waiting on the results from nearly 100 forensic samples.

The documents also reveal Mrs Ryther likely died from a combination of injuries to the left side of her face, “substantial” genital injuries and strangulation.

A bottle the teenager was seen carrying earlier in the night was probably used in the attack, police allege in their affidavit.

“The attack itself was brazen and involved a degrading attack on a woman unknown to him who was going about her business walking to work,” Ms Loury told the court.

In applying for bail, defence lawyer Tim Meehan said there was no direct evidence linking his client to the murder only forensic evidence showing he came into contact with Mrs Ryther some time during the evening. “There was contact to some degree but it goes no further than that,” he told the court.

But Justice Peter Applegarth denied the teenager bail, describing Mrs Ryther’s murder as “horrific” and said the man was an unacceptable flight risk.

Cory Ryther with a treasured photo of his wife Joan

Cory Ryther with a treasured photo of his wife Joan


DNA hold ups delay Joan Ryther murder case

November 25, 2013

Hold ups in the analysis of DNA evidence have further delayed the case of a teenager accused of raping and murdering Logan woman Joan Ryther.

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will have to wait until next year to discover if he will stand trial for raping and murdering Ms Ryther and killing her unborn child.

Ms Ryther’s bloodied and partially clothed body was found in a frontyard after she was viciously attacked on her way to work at Logan, south of Brisbane, in May.

The 27-year-old was three months pregnant when she died.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Karen Friedrichs says the investigation has been significant and some forensic evidence is still being analysed.

‘‘There is significant DNA evidence and analysis of clothes and various exhibits,’’ she told the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday.

Sgt Friedrichs said the bulk of evidence had been given to the defence, including 231 statements and 133 exhibits.

Outside court, defence lawyer Michael Bosschen said he would have to examine the evidence before deciding whether his client would re-apply for bail.

The 18-year-old has been in custody since his arrest in June.

Magistrate Trevor Morgan remanded the teen in custody and adjourned his case until February 3.

Magistrate Morgan also set aside three days in April for a committal hearing which will determine whether there is enough evidence to commit the teen to trial.

Neither the accused nor Ms Ryther’s husband Cory attended the hearing.

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing Thread Part IV


Kholo Creek Bridge

PLEASE REST IN PEACE ALLISON, WE ARE WITH YOU, WE MISS YOU.

Summary of first 3 days of committal hearing (courtesy of The Courier Mail)

Witnesses testify at committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with murdering wife Allison

Day two: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

Day three: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

____________________________________

Witness Statements/Reports (courtesy of a fellow kind poster who has very generously allowed them to be available to all)

Phillip Geoffrey Broom – former business partner

Jocelyn Anne Frost – former business partner

Associate Professor David Wells – Head, Clinical Forensic Medicine – Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Constable Kieron Ash – first responder

Neil Cameron Robertson – Investigative Computer Analyst - in his element analysing the 100 phones and 50 computers/iPads

Senior Sergeant Narelle Elizabeth Curtis – second responder

Record of Interview – Transcript

000 Call – Transcript

Forensic Procedure Order

Hydrology Report

Autopsy Report

____________________________________

Previous Committal Hearing Post

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing – 11 March 2013

____________________________________

Baden-Clay’s Sister Speaks (courtesy of 7 News)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwVR76UPaDQ]

Update 20/03/13 Newly Released images taken the day Gerard Baden Clay reported his wife missing

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing Thread Part III


Car Positioning

Car Positioning

BC CarportBC Driveway

Summary of first 3 days of committal hearing (courtesy of The Courier Mail)

Witnesses testify at committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with murdering wife Allison

Day two: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

Day three: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

____________________________________

Witness Statements/Reports (courtesy of a fellow kind poster who has very generously allowed them to be available to all)

Phillip Geoffrey Broom – former business partner

Jocelyn Anne Frost – former business partner

Associate Professor David Wells – Head, Clinical Forensic Medicine – Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Constable Kieron Ash – first responder

Neil Cameron Robertson – Investigative Computer Analyst - in his element analysing the 100 phones and 50 computers/iPads

Senior Sergeant Narelle Elizabeth Curtis – second responder

Record of Interview – Transcript

000 Call – Transcript

Forensic Procedure Order

Hydrology Report

Autopsy Report

____________________________________

Previous Committal Hearing Post

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing – 11 March 2013

____________________________________

Baden-Clay’s Sister Speaks (courtesy of 7 News)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwVR76UPaDQ]

Update 20/03/13 Newly Released images taken the day Gerard Baden Clay reported his wife missing

Picture of  injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Image of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. COURT-Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's chest on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's face on the day he reported his wife Allison missingGBC injuries

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing Thread Part II


The committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay has now adjourned after hearing evidence over the past three days and will resume again on Monday, 18 March 2013 for a further 3 days.

Summary of first 3 days of committal hearing (courtesy of The Courier Mail)

Witnesses testify at committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with murdering wife Allison

Day two: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

Day three: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

____________________________________

Witness Statements/Reports (courtesy of a fellow kind poster who has very generously allowed them to be available to all)

Phillip Geoffrey Broom – former business partner

Jocelyn Anne Frost – former business partner

Associate Professor David Wells – Head, Clinical Forensic Medicine – Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Constable Kieron Ash – first responder

Neil Cameron Robertson – Investigative Computer Analyst - in his element analysing the 100 phones and 50 computers/iPads

Senior Sergeant Narelle Elizabeth Curtis – second responder

Record of Interview – Transcript

000 Call – Transcript

Forensic Procedure Order

Hydrology Report

Autopsy Report

____________________________________

Previous Committal Hearing Post

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing – 11 March 2013

____________________________________

Baden-Clay’s Sister Speaks (courtesy of 7 News)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwVR76UPaDQ]

Update 20/03/13 Newly Released images taken the day Gerard Baden Clay reported his wife missing

Picture of  injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Image of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. COURT-Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's chest on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's face on the day he reported his wife Allison missingGBC injuries

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing – 18 March 2013


The committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay has now adjourned after hearing evidence over the past three days and will resume again on Monday, 18 March 2013 for a further 3 days.

Summary of first 3 days of committal hearing (courtesy of The Courier Mail)

Witnesses testify at committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with murdering wife Allison

Day two: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

Day three: committal hearing of Gerard Baden-Clay over death of wife Allison

____________________________________

Witness Statements/Reports (courtesy of a fellow kind poster who has very generously allowed them to be available to all)

Phillip Geoffrey Broom - former business partner

Jocelyn Anne Frost - former business partner

Associate Professor David Wells - Head, Clinical Forensic Medicine – Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Constable Kieron Ash - first responder

Neil Cameron Robertson – Investigative Computer Analyst - in his element analysing the 100 phones and 50 computers/iPads

Senior Sergeant Narelle Elizabeth Curtis - second responder

Record of Interview – Transcript 

000 Call – Transcript

Forensic Procedure Order

Hydrology Report

Autopsy Report

____________________________________

Previous Committal Hearing Post

Gerard Baden-Clay Committal Hearing – 11 March 2013

____________________________________

Baden-Clay’s Sister Speaks (courtesy of 7 News)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwVR76UPaDQ]

Update 20/03/13 Newly Released images taken the day Gerard Baden Clay reported his wife missing

Picture of  injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Image of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. COURT-Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's chest on the day he reported his wife Allison missing. Photograph of injuries police found on Gerard Baden-Clay's face on the day he reported his wife Allison missingGBC injuries

Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy – Murder at Cherry Tree Creek


The 1991 deaths of Vicki Arnold (27) and her best-friend Julie-Anne Leahy (26) at Cherry Tree Creek in Far North Queensland have captivated the attention of the State and the nation for over 21 years and even spawned the writing of a book over the mystery.

Coroner’s inquests held in 1992 and 1999 found that Ms. Arnold bashed her best friend with a rock, slit her throat and shot her twice before turning the gun on herself – firing a shot though her thigh and two shots through her own head in an apparent murder-suicide.

From the beginning however there were many who questioned the “official” version of events and in a stunning development on 1 March 2013, following a third inquest, State Coroner Mr. Michael Barnes ordered Ms. Leahy’s husband, Alan, stand trial on two counts of murder.  Mr. Leahy maintains his innocence, but for the family of Ms. Arnold and in particular her 87 year-old mother Vida, the findings of the Coroner mark a step in their 21 year fight to clear Vicki’s name…

With an arrest warrant for Alan Leahy’s pending, here’s hoping that despite any inadequacies in the initial Police investigation, something that more closely resembles the truth will finally be revealed and confirmed in Court.

More details of the case can be found below courtesy of the Courier Mail and the following links:

Coroners Findings – 1 March 2013

Murder at Cherry Tree Creek – 60 Minutes

Third Party to Murder: The Sequel

Husband Alan Leahy ordered to stand trial for murder of wife Julie-Anne and friend Vicki Arnold 21 years ago

  • by: Kate Kyriacou, Peter Michael
  • From: The Courier Mail
  • March 02, 2013 12:00AM

Leahy, Arnold murder graphic

FOR 21 years, Vicki Arnold’s family has been told the mild-mannered chartered accountant bashed her best friend with a rock, slit her throat and shot her twice before turning the gun on herself – firing two shots through her own head in an apparent murder-suicide.

She did this, according to a police investigation and two coronial inquests, despite having no motive and no history of depression or any other mental health issues.

Yesterday, State Coroner Michael Barnes tore holes in the findings of police and the previous inquests – declaring it was more likely Ms Arnold, 27, and her best friend Julie-Anne Leahy, 26, were murdered.

In an extraordinary hearing before a packed courtroom, Mr Barnes ordered Mrs Leahy’s husband Alan stand trial on two counts of murder.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he is expected to be extradited from Western Australia to face court in Queensland.

Mr Leahy yesterday told The Courier-Mail he would maintain his innocence.

 THE husband of a woman found shot dead with her best friend in 1991 will face trial for the deaths after a third Coronial inquest in the case.

Vicki Arnold's vehicle at the crime scene.

ARREST ORDERED: Vicki Arnold’s vehicle at the crime scene. Picture: Aaron Francis

“Of course I will fight the charges,” he said.

The bodies of the women were found inside the Leahy family 4WD in remote bushland near Cairns in August 1991 – two weeks after they failed to return from a late-night fishing trip.

“Those involved in the early stages of the investigation failed to gather, lost or corrupted evidence that may have established the truth of what happened at Cherry Tree Creek on the night of July 26, 1991,” Mr Barnes said.

“They then set about squeezing what evidence was left into an explanation that required no further action.”

He said two coronial inquests went along with the police opinion that the women’s deaths were an open-shut murder-suicide.

Vicki Arnold at work in her Hall Chadwick Office

SLOW JUSTICE: Vicki Arnold’s family at her graveside August 14, 1991. Picture: Aaron Francis

The court heard Mrs Leahy’s husband told police the women had left home after midnight to go fishing and never returned.

Mr Barnes said it was telling that Mr Leahy spent that night in bed with his wife’s 16-year-old sister Vanessa.

“Alan Leahy spent considerable time in his wife’s sister’s bed on the night the two women disappeared,” he said.

“A possible interpretation for what would seem cavalier behaviour is that he knew his wife would not be returning.”

Mr Barnes also found:

  • While Ms Arnold had bought the gun that was used to shoot the women, the most likely scenario was that she had done so for someone else. Mr Barnes said she knew nothing about guns, yet insisted on buying a .22 rifle while giving various explanations as to why she needed it.
  • Ms Arnold had neither the equipment or the know-how to saw down a rifle. Mr Leahy did and lied about owning a vice, which would have been used to shorten the barrel.
  • Ms Arnold had no motive, appeared content the night she disappeared and had apparently embarked on a midnight fishing trip despite having made work appointments for 6am the following day.
  • It was unlikely Ms Arnold had shot herself in the back of the head after first shooting herself in the thigh and chin.
  • Trajectory examinations found one bullet was likely fired from the back seat.
  • The sawn-off barrel from the gun, a hacksaw and instruction manual were placed inside a pillow slip from the Leahy house and left in Ms Arnold’s driveway two weeks after her body was found. Mr Barnes said “only someone who had themselves been involved in the deaths had a motive to do that”.
Vicki Arnold and Julie-Ann Leahy

SHOT DEAD: Best friends Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy

He said while Ms Arnold did not appear to have a motive, Mr Leahy did.

The court heard Mr Leahy had been having an affair with his sister-in-law, had mounting debts and stood to gain $120,000 from his wife’s life insurance. He also lied about owning true crime magazines – one depicting a murder made to look like a murder-suicide. The court heard the day before the women disappeared, Mrs Leahy had asked her younger sister to stay home from school – a request the teenager was convinced meant Mrs Leahy wanted to confront her about the affair.

Mr Barnes ordered Mr Leahy to stand trial at the next sittings of the Supreme Court in Cairns, giving him 14 days to surrender to police.

The women’s relatives in court – and others viewing the hearing live in Cairns – cried and applauded as Mr Barnes delivered his finding.

Mrs Leahy’s brother Peter Martin punched the air.

Vicki Arnold at work in her Hall Chadwick Office

LONG BLAMED: Vicki Arnold at work in her Hall Chadwick office. Picture: Aaron Francis

“I’m on top of the world,” he said. “(The decision) takes Vicki straight out of the picture – as it should have been from word go. We can wake up tomorrow morning and have a smile on our face.”

In Cairns, Ms Arnold’s wheelchair-bound mother Vida sobbed as Mr Leahy was ordered to stand trial.

“I’ve waited nearly 22 years for this result,” she said. “I’ve lost a lot of sleep over the years. Who knows if I’ll get any sleep tonight.” She thanked Mr Barnes, her lawyer Philip Bovey and State MP Curtis Pitt for correcting a “miscarriage of justice”.

———-

THE EVIDENCE

The crime scene

Mrs Leahy’s throat was slashed, her body held upright in the driver’s seat by a seat belt wrapped around her neck. She had been bashed with a rock and shot twice in the head. Ms Arnold’s body was slumped on the passenger-side floor with bullet wounds to her thigh, jaw and behind the right ear, her hand resting on the stock of a sawn-off rifle with a shell in the breech.

State Coroner Michael Barnes said he doubted the gun would have come to rest in such a manner.

The assumption

Within four hours, police declared the incident a murder-suicide. The crime scene was cleared and the 4WD towed to Yungaburra, where it was stored inappropriately and the elements tainted any forensic evidence.

The gun

The gun’s barrel and the hacksaw used to cut it down were discovered in Ms Arnold’s garage two weeks after the women were found dead. Two police officers, Bill Hendrikse and Sgt Bernie Wilce, swore in the witness box the pillow case containing the parts was not there during an initial search of the unit. Ms Arnold’s former neighbour, Pamela Fox, said she found the gun parts in the garage the day after she saw someone running from the home during the night.

The magazines

Mr Leahy gave police a series of murder-themed magazines after the women’s deaths. He told officers Ms Arnold borrowed them from the Leahy household. But he told the inquest he did not remember the magazines belonging to the family – despite most of them having the name “Leahy” scrawled on the inside cover.

The sister

During the hearing Mrs Leahy’s teenage sister, Vanessa, gave evidence that she was in a sexual relationship with Mr Leahy and was terrified her sister would find out.

———-

MURDER MYSTERY AT CHERRY TREE CREEK

How the events unfolded

July 26, 1991: Julie-Anne Leahy, 26, and Vicki Arnold, 27, are reported missing after Mrs Leahy’s husband, Alan, says they failed to return from a fishing trip to Lake Tinaroo.

August 9, 1991: Trailbike riders find the women’s bodies about 5pm in the the Leahy family’s Nissan Patrol, about 15km out of Atherton on a bush track. Despite the bizarre scene, police rule their deaths a murder-suicide and the vehicle and bodies are hastily removed.

July 30, 1992: First inquest into the women’s deaths begins at Atherton Coroner’s Court. After hearing the evidence, Coroner Hamilton Spicer supports the murder-suicide theory.

July, 1997: Police Minister Russell Cooper announces a reopening of the controversial case, appointing former senior investigators Carl Mengler and Frank O’Gorman. A week later, convicted murderer Gregory De Jong tells detectives that notorious drug dealer Christopher Dunlea, whom De Jong confessed to shooting in 1994, admitted to him that he killed the pair.

May, 1998: The Mengler and O’Gorman report is highly critical of the original police investigation.

April 19, 1999: A second inquest into the women’s deaths begins. The Coroner’s Court hears of Ms Leahy’s younger sister Vanessa’s affair with her husband. A forensic expert tells the court it would be highly unlikely a person would shoot themself in the head twice.

February 21, 2000: Coroner Gary Casey rules again in favour of the murder-suicide theory. The Arnold and Leahy families are stunned.

September, 2005: Former Far North detective Bill Hendrikse, one of the first officers at the scene, claims a senior police officer refused to order an investigation into the suspected double murder because of overtime costs.

July, 2008: Homicide detectives investigate whether the women were killed because they knew too much about a bungled bank robbery after a witness comes forward with fresh evidence.

October 23, 2010: Attorney-general Cameron Dick announces a third inquest will be held after lobbying from Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt – Bill Hendrikse’s nephew.

November 14, 2011: Third inquest begins before State Coroner Michael Barnes and hears evidence shedding doubt on the adequacy of the initial police investigation, and some expert witnesses say they lean more towards a double-murder scenario.

March 1, 2013: Mr Barnes hands down his findings and commits Alan Leahy to stand trial for murder.