UPDATE high court appeal fails
Keli Lane loses High Court application to appeal against conviction for murdering baby Tegan
Former water polo champion Keli Lane has lost her application to the High Court to appeal against her conviction for murdering her baby.
Lane is serving a minimum sentence of 13 years and five months after being found guilty of killing her two-day-old daughter Tegan in 1996.
Her maximum sentence is 18 years.
She has always maintained she gave the child to a man with whom she had a brief and secret affair. Tegan’s body has never been found.
Lane applied for leave to appeal in the High Court after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in late 2013.
Her barrister Winston Terracini today told a two-judge panel in the High Court an alternative count of manslaughter should have been open to the jury, as there was no evidence about how Tegan died.
“There was a viable case of manslaughter,” Mr Terracini said.
“The jury should have been at least told … there was an alternative verdict.
“There’s no evidentiary basis got how the deceased was killed.”
But the High Court judges noted the strength of the prosecution case was in part due to the fact that no arrangement was made for the baby to be placed in care after her birth.
They pointed out that Lane arrived at her family’s home soon after giving birth, and after a short time an act “dangerous or contrary to the law” may have occurred.
Tegan’s body has never been found and Lane has always maintained she gave the baby to the biological father, a man she called Andrew Norris or Morris, with whom she had an affair.
But prosecutors maintained Lane killed Tegan after leaving Auburn Hospital, in western Sydney, two days after giving birth.
The crown’s case was that she hid five pregnancies and did not want the responsibility of a child because of her ambition to compete in the 2000 Olympics.
Lane had two terminations as a teenager and kept three pregnancies and births secret from family and friends, giving up two children for adoption, the court heard.
Lane’s earliest release date will be in May 2024.
Keli Lane will serve at least 13 years and five months for murder of tegan, plus four years and seven months on parole…MORE TO COME
Keli Lane will serve at least 13 years and five months for murder of tegan, plus four years and seven months on parole
Sentencing today 15/04/11
In court as we speak she is being sentenced, been talking for nearly an hour so far in handing down term…stay tuned
Update tonight Sunday 3rd April 2011
Just watched the disgusting story on Channel 7 tonight. How convoluted was that? Master Manipulator, I hope someone in the know who has her confidence now gets greedy and breaks her confidence and comes forward with information on her remains etc!
Bloody Christopher Murphy, solicitor to the crooks and crims, all for his own huge ego.Google and see the type of people he has represented…I will post the video of this story soon!
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC today in the NSW Supreme Court disputed the defence’s “serious harm” contention, saying the “only rational conclusion” was that Lane intended to kill two-day-old Tegan.
Lane, 36, appeared on the verge of tears throughout the hearing, which was attended by her mother, brother and other supporters.
Last December, a jury found Lane guilty of murdering her newborn second child on September 14, 1996, after they left Auburn hospital.
Lane had hidden three pregnancies, secretly adopting out her first and third babies.
Tegan’s body has never been found.
Referring to issues to be resolved by Justice Anthony Whealy, Mr Tedeschi said the judge may find Lane’s pre-meditation only occurred on the day of the killing.
He also handed up to the judge a list showing sentencing practices in 1996, when the murder occurred.
“The sentencing of people for homicide generally was much more lenient to the offender than today,” he noted during his sentencing submission in the packed courtroom.
At one stage, Justice Whealy noted the jury had found Lane guilty, adding “whatever views I may have had about the strength of the crown case must take second place to the jury verdict”.
The sentencing hearing was adjourned to next Friday to enable a defence psychiatrist to respond to a psychiatric report tendered by the Crown.