Brett Wortman

Deadly trio of Etna Creek killers lose appeal bid again

QUEENSLAND'S deadliest trio of killer prisoners failed to convince two of Australia's best legal minds that their murder case should be revisited.

It took just 19 minutes for Australia's highest court to dismiss a request for special leave to appeal from three men convicted of murdering a fellow Rockhampton inmate 16 years ago.

A jury found Wayne Thomas Robertson, 45, Mark Dempsey Knight, 50, and Wesley Robert Williams, 54, guilty in 2012 of the murder of 23-year-old Robert James Buckley at the Etna Creek Correctional Centre in June 1999.

On Friday, they asked two High Court of Australia justices to grant them leave to appeal because they had doubts regarding the reliability of a statement made by the victim before he died.

The High Court rejected barrister Peter Davis's contention that the statement was made under unreliable conditions.

The content of the statement was not revealed during the brief hearing.

The convicted killers have spent years appealing the jury's decision that they bashed Mr Buckley to death in a shower block before using a towel to hang him from a window.

Mr Buckley's death was originally ruled a suicide.

But in 2006, police found enough evidence to charge the trio and in 2009 they were found guilty.

In 2010 the Court of Appeal set aside the guilty verdicts and ordered a retrial and Robertson, Knight and Williams were reconvicted in 2012.

In 2013, the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed their claims of suspected jury bias and in February, 2014, the High Court refused to grant them special leave to appeal.

Knight was previously convicted of killing an inmate and Williams was doing time for manslaughter.

The three men are serving life behind bars for Mr Buckley's murder.


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