Dubois appeal decision pending

Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Leanne and Vicki.

By Jeremy Sollars

Convicted killer Garry Dubois is awaiting a decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal on his bid to have his convictions overturned for the deaths of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters in 1974.

Dubois was found guilty in November 2016 of the manslaughter of Mrs McCulkin and the rape and murder of her daughters Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11.

Warwick man Vincent O’Dempsey, who was also convicted of murder, has his own appeal set down for Thursday 26 July.

The mother and her girls were taken from their home in inner Brisbane on the night of January 16 1974 and killed at a bushland location, believed to be in the Warwick area.

Their bodies have never been found.

Dubois’ appeal was heard yesterday, Thursday 21 June in the Court of Appeal in Brisbane, with his defence arguing that evidence used to convict him in the high-profile cold case was unreliable.

Specifically, Dubois contends that confessions he made in the 1970s to two key prosecution witnesses could not be relied upon by the Crown as proof of his guilt, in one case because the person concerned had been drinking for several hours and had smoked cannabis.

Both O’Dempsey and Dubois received life sentences following their convictions.

Depending on the decision of the Court of Appeal in Dubois’ matter a retrial could be ordered, he could be acquitted or the conviction will stand.

Court of Appeal President Justice Walter Sofronoff and Justices Soraya Ryan and Robert Gotterson yesterday reserved judgment.


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