Friday, July 06, 2007

Justice for Some


Phillip John Walsham, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Phillip John Walsham died a short time after being beaten up. It was said that three men who assaulted him also came back to him later, and threw him from a footbridge. Phillip died of injuries sustained, later.

The three had been convicted on circumstantial evidence. They had been guilty of the first assault, but denied the later one. The result was DNA evidence that tied the aggressors to the victim did not place the three at the place of the second assault.

HP Lovecraft described a horror scenario. A man was faced with a liveing horse. It had the head of a horse, and the body of a horse, but it wasn't THE SAME HORSE! Doesn't that describe those three thugs?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Three men set free from prison after murder conviction quashed from abc.net.au

Three men have walked free from Perth's Hakea Prison just hours after their convictions were quashed in a controversial murder case.

Sam Fazzari, Jose Martinez and Carlos Pereiras have spent two years behind bars after being convicted of murdering 21-year-old Phillip Walsham.

He was found lying underneath a footbridge at the Stirling train station in February 1998.

Two of the men admitted assaulting him, but all three denied any involvement in his death.

The men were sentenced to life with a ten year minimum, but today the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions, finding they were unsafe and unsatisfactory.

A large group of family and friends greeted the men as they walked out of Hakea Prison a short time ago.

Footbridge murder conviction thrown out
Western Australia's Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction of three men serving life jail terms for the murder of Phillip Walsham nine years ago.

Jose Martinez, Sam Fazzari and Carlos Pereiras were convicted last year of murdering 21-year-old Phillip Walsham by throwing or pushing him from a footbridge at the Stirling train station in February 1998.

The three men have always maintained their innocence and today the appeal court ruled that the jury's verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory.

Phillip Walsham's father John Walsham told ABC Radio he was devastated by the decision.

"I think the justice system is a farce to be honest with you. Twelve people can find people guilty and three judges can overruled it," he said.

The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Bates, says he sincerely regrets that the three men have spent time in jail for a crime they did not commit.

Mr Bates also extended his deepest sympathy to the Welsham family and says it is highly unlikely that anyone will be brought to justice for the death of their son.

"Despite the communities expectations that our criminal justice system can deliver justice to the families of murdered loved ones the reality is that despite the best efforts of the police and prosecution this is not always possible," he said.

History of Walsham case
Phillip Walsham died in February 1998. His body was found lying under a footbridge at the Stirling train station. Police say he was pushed or thrown.

The case remained unsolved until an inquest in 2003, when the coroner found four people, including Jose Martinez, Sam Fazzari and Carlos Pereiras, were responsible for his death.

They were charged with wilful murder, but the fourth person, a juvenile at the time of the death, was acquitted.

Two of the men, Jose Martinez, Sam Fazzari, admitted assaulting Mr Walsham by kicking him in the head as he sat intoxicated at a bus stop, near the bridge.

They admitted it was a cowardly act and felt ashamed, but maintained Mr Walsham was alive when they left him.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict against Jose Martinez, Sam Fazzari and Carlos Pereiras in May 2005, and the men had to wait a year for a retrial.

They were found guilty of murder in the retrial in May last year and sentenced to life with a minimum of ten years.

The WA Court of Appeal later refused permission for them to call fresh evidence to try to clear their names. Their lawyers wanted two experts to testify about whether Mr Walsham's injuries were consistent with being hit by a car.

Last month, lawyers for the men argued 20 grounds on which they believe their convictions should be quashed.

The murder case was the subject of a three-part series on the ABC's Australian Story.

The Weasel said...

Gary's blogging on this at
http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/garyhughes/index.php/theaustralian/comments/judging_juries/