ACT News


Eastman brings action against ACT Government

Convicted murderer David Harold Eastman has brought a civil action against the ACT Government, claiming it failed to properly consider his application to be released from prison on licence.

Under territory law a prisoner can be released on licence at the discretion of the Attorney-General.

Eastman was jailed for life in 1995 for the murder of assistant police commissioner Colin Winchester six years earlier and has to-date served 17 years for the slaying.

He has maintained his innocence, and lodged a number of appeals against the conviction.

Under ACT law there can be no minimum term attached to a life sentence.

But a prisoner may ask the Attorney-General for release on licence after serving 10 years.

Eastman's lawyer told the court that ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell had failed to follow procedural fairness when he did not refer Eastman's application to the sentence administration board.

But ACT Government lawyers said Mr Corbell exercised his lawful pejorative to not refer the matter.

The matter continues before Justice Steven Rares on Monday afternoon.