ACT News

David Eastman: a timeline from Winchester's death to a ruling on Eastman's release

January 10, 1989 - AFP Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester is shot twice in the head as he gets out of his car at his home in Deakin. 

August, 1989 - A coronial inquest hears evidence and in December an open finding is recorded.

December 25, 1992 -  A month after the re-opening of the inquest, David Eastman is commited to stand trial for murder.

May 2, 1995 - Murder trial begins and Eastman pleads not guilty.

November 3, 1995 - Eastman is found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

June 25, 1997 - Eastman appeals his conviction and special leave to appeal to the High Court is granted. 


May 25, 2000 - Appeal is dismissed.

June 9, 2000 - Eastman applies for a judicial inquiry, but his application is dismissed.

May 2001 - June 2004 - Eastman makes several unsuccessful applications for reviews and inquiries into his conviction and fitness to plead. 

October 2004 - February 2005 - A hearing is held into Eastman's fitness to plead. 

October 6, 2005 - Report into Eastman's fitness to plead finds "on the probabilities" he was fit to plead.

November 2005 - April 2008 - Eastman unsuccessfully appeals the 2005 finding.

October 2007 - Eastman appeals his original conviction but is dismissed by the Full Court of the Federal Court. Leave to appeal to the High Court is refused.

April 2011 - Eastman applies for an inquiry into his conviction.

September 3, 2012 - An inquiry into Eastman's conviction is ordered.

September 2012 - Inquiry begins before Acting Justice Kevin Duggan.

July 22, 2013 - Justice Duggan withdraws citing conflict of interest concerns.

November 11, 2013 - Hearings into Eastman's conviction begin before Acting Justice Brian Martin.

May 15, 2014 - Inquiry concludes.

May 29, 2014 - Acting Justice Martin's report is delivered to the Supreme Court of the ACT.

May 30, 2014 - Acting Justice Martin recommends Eastman's conviction for the murder of Colin Winchester be quashed.

May 30, 2014 - Acting Justice Martin recommends Eastman's conviction for the murder of Colin Winchester be quashed.

June 23, 2014 – The ACT Supreme Court gives the DPP another chance to be heard before a decision is made on Eastman's fate.

July 14, 2014 – The DPP mounts its last-ditch bid to keep Eastman in prison, arguing there is still an overwhelming case against him.

July 24, 2014 – The ACT Supreme Court reserves its decision on whether to quash Eastman's conviction.

August 22, 2014 - A three-judge panel of the ACT Supreme Court hands down its response to the May report.

June 10, 2015 - David Eastman successfully removes Acting Justice Anthony Whealy from hearing his bid to prevent a second murder trial.

February, 2016 - Eastman's stay application is heard over nine days in the ACT Supreme Court before new judge, Acting Justice David Ashley.

April 14, 2016 - Acting Justice David Ashley dismisses Eastman's stay application, setting the accused on a path to re-trial.