The man who serves a life sentence for killing a hitchhiker during a sex attack has destroyed his conviction and is facing a new trial
- A man who has been sentenced to life imprisonment has appealed his sentence
- He was found guilty of the murder in 1999 of a 17-year-old hitchhiker in 2018
- He was charged in 2015 after she was imprisoned for a similar crime when she died
- Her mother expects her to be “brought back through the mill” as vows to attend the trial
Francis John Wark (above) was on trial at the WA Supreme Court for Justice Lindy Jenkins, who found him guilty in 2018 of the murder of the 17-year-old hitchhiker in 1999, who had overturned his conviction on Friday
A man serving a life sentence for killing West Australian teenager Hayley Dodd during a sex attack has overturned his conviction and is facing a new trial.
Francis John Wark was on trial at the WA Supreme Court for Justice Lindy Jenkins, who found him guilty of murdering the 17-year-old hitchhiker in 2018 after luring her to a rural neighborhood in Badgingarra on July 29, 1999.
Hayley’s body was never found.
Wark, 64, was sentenced to prison life with a minimum of 21 years to be served, but on Friday the WA Court of Appeal annulled his sentence.
Outside, Hayley’s mother, Margaret, said that she “would be brought back by the mill.”
“I’m not going to get upset about it unnecessarily, even if I’m upset,” she told reporters.
Mrs. Dodd said she would attend the new trial every day since she had the first lawsuit.
“It’s my daughter we’re talking about and I want to hear everything that happens,” she said.
The body of Australian teenager Hayley Dodd (above) was never found after her disappearance in July 1999
Wark, 64, was sentenced in 2018 to a prison life with a minimum of 21 years to be served
Hayley’s mother Margaret (above) said that she “would be dragged through the mill again” as vows to attend every day of the new trial
Wark was indicted in 2015 after an investigation into a cold case and at that time had imposed a 12-year prison sentence for raping a woman he had picked up on a remote road in Queensland in 2007.
He was convicted of Hayley’s murder, largely based on the evidence of an ankh-shaped earring found in 2013 when a police bank cover was seized a week after Hayley disappeared, was examined in the state forensic laboratory.
Justice Jenkins also discovered that Wark had a tendency to arrest single female lifters and then to overpower and rap them.
In his testimony, Wark said he had done his weekly chores in nearby Moora and then traveled to Perth about 20 minutes after Hayley was last seen alive.
“To some it may seem strange that a mistake in one or two paragraphs of a careful judgment of nearly 200 pages can lead to a successful appeal and a new trial,” Court of Appeal Justice Michael Beech said.
“The truth of what the appellant told the police was central to his trial.
“Accepting his report from when he left Moora would require his acquittal.
“In my respectful opinion, the incorrect disapproval of the judge, unless supported by independent evidence, of what the appellant told the police has led to a judicial error.”
Wark, who was not on appeal, was taken into custody.
His lawyer has requested the possibility of a bail, but Wark will be back in court next month.
Wark was convicted of Hayley’s murder, largely based on evidence of an ankh-shaped earring found in 2013 when a police bank cover was seized a week after Hayley disappeared, was examined in the state forensic laboratory
His lawyer has requested the possibility of a bail, but Wark will be back in court next month