Double murderer appeals life sentence
A CONVICTED double murderer is appealing his life sentence on the ground that the sentencing judge did not take into account the time he had already served in custody.
The legal loophole occurred after unrelated drug charges were dropped in the Emerald Magistrates Court shortly after his murder conviction in 2002 because police could not produce any evidence to substantiate the charges.
Rodney Michael Cherry, 55, was found guilty in 2002 of murdering his wife Annette Cherry (nee Guise), 36, in 1997 and his youngest step-daughter, Kira Ranee Guise, 17, in 1999 at Roma.
Kira Ranee Guise's body was never found.
He was convicted in the Rockhampton Supreme Court on November 8, 2002, and sentenced to life behind bars.
Defence barrister Kylie Hillard told the Queensland Court of Appeal on Thursday the application was being made in light of new and fresh evidence in the case.
"The drug related charges were discontinued because the police could not produce the QP9 forms or any evidence," she said.
"The charges were discontinued through no fault of my client.
"We have attempted to locate them and the alleged evidence but could not do so."
Ms Hillard said key to the basis of the appeal was that in light of the charges being discontinued it was uncertain whether the sentencing judge took into account the 19 months Cherry had served in custody from the time of his arrest in May, 2001, to his subsequent conviction the following year.
She said the sentencing remarks from 2002 could not be located either.
"Because of that it is in the interest of justice that an appeal against the sentence be allowed," she said.
"If the sentence was re-opened it would allow the 19 months he had served in custody before his conviction be made declarable.
"Ultimately, if it is not allowed it will make his parole eligibility date 19 months later than it ought to be.
"He has the right under the law to have any declarable time served to be taken into account."
Cherry was given a non-parole period of 20 years for his crimes.
As it stands he will be eligible to apply for parole on November, 8, 2022.
Cherry hit the headlines again in 2008 after he survived a brutal jail stabbing at the hands of baby-faced Toowoomba killer Scott Geoffrey Maygar behind the walls of the Maryborough Correctional Centre.
The Queensland Court of Appeal reserved it decision.