ACT News


Decision reserved in killing appeal

Three appeal judges have reserved their decision in the appeal against the acquittal of the young woman accused of murdering apprentice chef Cameron Anderson.

It's case which could have broader consequences for the way criminal law is interpreted in the territory, with the Crown arguing the verdict raised questions of law.

But the prosecution faces a tough task, having to convince the ACT Court of Appeal the case raises questions untested in any Australian jurisdiction.

And the judges also dismissed a human rights argument raised by lawyers for the acquitted woman, ruling the issue was irrelevant.

Chief Justice Terence Higgins last year found the young woman not guilty of murdering Mr Anderson in the city's inner-south in 2008.

The woman, who was just 17 years old at the time and can't be named, stabbed the man repeatedly after they left Green Square in the early hours of September 1.


Throughout the trial her defence maintained Mr Anderson sexually assaulted her on the grounds of the Baptist Church in Kingston, and she lashed out in self-defence.

Chief Justice Higgins found her not guilty and ruled Mr Anderson, had he lived, would probably have been charged with sexual assault.

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions launched a reference appeal against the verdict, arguing the judge's reasoning raised questions of law.

But counsel for the acquitted woman, Bernard Collaery and Bernard Gross, QC, told the court the questions of law had already been addressed in the High Court.

Mr Collaery and Mr Gross initially sought to have the case struck out, arguing the decision to file a reference appeal amounted to an ''abuse of process''.

But they withdrew the application yesterday after Justice Bruce Lander said levelling the accusation without giving the other side a proper chance to respond was ''quite unfair''.