Ex-tycoon Gerardus Heijne to appeal on murder verdict

Handing down Heijne's sentence last month, Justice McKechnie labelled Heijne a liar and said he killed Cianciosi in a moment of anger, brought about by his infatuation with the 19-year-old lover.

http://www.news.com.au
July 7, 2009

Ex-tycoon Gerardus Heijne to appeal on murder verdict
Debbie Guest

GerardusGerritHeijne.jpg

VERDICT 'UNREASONABLE': Former chicken tycoon Gerardus Gerrit Heijne will appeal against his murder conviction, claiming the verdict was unreasonable and not supported by evidence.

FORMER chicken tycoon Gerardus Gerrit Heijne will appeal his murder conviction, claiming the verdict was unreasonable and not supported by evidence.

Heijne, who was sentenced last month to a minimum of 13 1/2 years' jail for strangling his lover of 25 years, Frank Cianciosi, lodged the appeal in the WA Supreme Court last week.

According to the draft grounds of appeal, Heijne's lawyers claim the prosecution failed to identify any evidence of Cianciosi being intentionally injured.

"The verdict of guilty to murder is unreasonable and cannot be supported by the evidence in that no injury was identified by the state as the intended injury," the draft grounds of appeal say.

"In any event, on the evidence, there could be no reasonable finding of an intention to cause an injury causing grievous bodily harm on the evidence before the jury."

The appeal grounds also claim West Australian Supreme Court judge John McKechnie erred in law when he directed the jury on Heijne's available defences.

Heijne's lawyers also claim Justice McKechnie's closing directions to the jury were incomplete. "The learned trial judge erred in law in failing to adequately or at all put the defence case to the jury in his summing up," the appeal grounds say.

It is also claimed that Justice McKechnie incorrectly directed the jury about why the identity of a 19-year-old man with whom Heijne was having an affair was suppressed.

Heijne's lawyers claim that Justice McKechnie's direction to the jury that the man's identity was suppressed "as a protection" was an error.

The draft grounds of appeal claim Justice McKechnie's directions suggested "that the witness needed some sort of protection and was vulnerable and thereby implicitly suggesting that he was a witness of credit".

Handing down Heijne's sentence last month, Justice McKechnie labelled Heijne a liar and said he killed Cianciosi in a moment of anger, brought about by his infatuation with the 19-year-old lover.

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21498,25744865-2761,00.html?from=public_rss


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