Judges reserve decision on Massey murder appeal
Rebecca Anne Massey outside court during the murder trial. Photo: Graham Tidy
Three appeal judges have reserved their decision in Rebecca Anne Massey's bid to have her murder conviction overturned.
Lawyers for Massey say Justice Malcolm Gray misdirected the jury at the end of the month-long trial in April and May last year.
But Director of Public Prosecutions Jon White has disagreed, arguing there was no fault in the trial judge's final directions to the jurors.
Massey is serving a 16-year jail sentence for the murder of Elisabeth Booshand, with a non-parole period of 10 years. Tensions between them erupted in July 2008 when the pair clashed outside a chicken shop in Charnwood.
There was a confrontation outside the shop, broken up by bystanders, and moments later a second meeting of the pair in an adjacent alley.
Ms Booshand was fatally stabbed in that alley, but Massey's lawyers maintained their client acted in self-defence and never meant to kill.
The appeal hinges on a direction the judge gave about the law of self-defence - a direction barrister Jack Pappas said took the matter out of the hands of the jury.
''If Massey started the fight with the deceased or willingly engaged in it, she cannot claim to defend herself in a counter attack unless her original aggression had ended at the time of the counter attack,'' the judge said at the time.
''If she had ended her aggression, but was then required to defend herself against a new attack, the law allows her to raise self-defence.''
Mr White argued the judges needed to consider the broader evidence put before the jury.
''We would caution your honours from taking taking too narrow a view of the factual evidence in this case,'' he said.
Mr White said there was evidence of the background animosity, relative ages and health and previous threats uttered by Massey towards Ms Booshand.
Chief Justice Terence Higgins, Justice Richard Refshauge and Justice Steven Rares will hand down their decision at a later date.