ACT News


Aleksander Vojneski guilty of murdering Paula Conlon

Badges adorned with the smiling face of murder victim Paula Conlon were worn by her family and friends during the trial of her killer.

Ms Conlon's children keep the same picture in their room.

The mother-of-three's supporters were banned from showing the badges in court, so instead concealed them under layers of clothing while Aleksander Vojneski was tried for the stabbing murder.

On Wednesday, an ACT Supreme Court jury found Vojneski, 31, guilty of stabbing the mother-of-three to death at her Macgregor home on the night of March 27, 2012.

The verdict meant the supporters could finally show the talisman they had kept hidden during the 5½-week trial.

There was a loud cheer as the jury delivered its decision after more than two days deliberation, with Ms Conlon's supporters shedding tears of joy and hugging each other.


Speaking outside court, Ms Conlon's mother Sharon Bell said friends and family members were "overjoyed" and relieved at the decision.

"Paula's life revolved around what she could do for others and how she could help care for others, and ironically that is what ultimately cost her her life," she said.

Vojneski did not react to the verdict.

During the trial, jurors heard the pair had met in a psychiatric unit at Calvary Hospital in October 2011 while Ms Conlon sought treatment after her marriage broke down.

Vojneski, an ice user with an alleged history of violence and knife use, had been admitted after he  suffered an alleged drug-induced psychosis.

The Crown argued the six-month relationship had been volatile and marked by domestic violence.

In the lead-up to the murder, Ms Conlon had tried to wean Vojneski off ice because she thought she had fallen pregnant.

The Crown argued he killed Ms Conlon after he became frustrated at his failure to get drugs and the fact she had spent the last of her money shopping.

Jurors heard the defendant's blood had been found on the door handle of Ms Conlon's bedroom and floor tiles outside.

The Crown alleged he cut his own index finger during the attack.

Vojneski told forensic officers during the murder investigation that a cut on his hand came from doing push-ups near broken glass.

His fingerprint had also been found on a plastic bag near where Ms Conlon was killed, and on a different knife in the kitchen.

Defence barrister Jack Pappas had argued that the circumstantial case against his client was "full of holes", and that police had a "blinkered commitment" to an easy target after forming a theory within 12 hours of the killing.

Mrs Bell and her husband Ian travelled from their home in Britain to Canberra for 10 weeks to be in court for the trial.

Their daughter became involved with Vojneski when she had "lost her way in life" and became lonely after her marriage breakdown, Mrs Bell said. 

"At her lowest time, and in desperate need of having someone to love and desperately wanting to be loved, she met somebody who she thought would make her happy and would look after her."

Ms Conlon's three children had been deprived of a mother through Vojneski's actions, Mrs Bell said.

"And this we all find heartbreaking and will never forgive him for.

"We will never forget Paula and hope that she can now rest in peace knowing that justice has been served."

Vojneski was remanded in custody to reappear before a directions hearing later this month.