McCulkin killer loses final appeal

KILLER Vincent O'Dempsey has lost his final bid to have his conviction for the 1974 murder of Barbara McCulkin overturned.

O'Dempsey, now 79, was in 2017 found guilty by a Brisbane Supreme Court jury of taking Mrs McCulkin, 32, and her children Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, from their Highgate Hill home on January 16, 1974, and killing them in bushland near Warwick.

In handing down a life sentence, Justice Peter Applegarth described O'Dempsey as "beyond redemption".

Vince O'Dempsey
Vince O'Dempsey

O'Dempsey appealed his conviction to the Queensland Court of Appeal on nine grounds but the court quashed the application.

He this morning applied to the High Court of Australia for special leave seeking to be retried over the murder but the application was dismissed.

O'Dempsey argued evidence of Gary Dubois' motive for the murder should not have been presented to the jury in his co-accused trial because it was too prejudicial.

He also argued he should not have been convicted because the trial judge erred in instructing the jury to consider confession evidence in the context of the rest of the evidence, rather than to assess the weight of each individually.

Barbara McCulkin, 32, and her children Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, were murdered by O’Dempsey in 1974. Picture: Nine News.
Barbara McCulkin, 32, and her children Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, were murdered by O’Dempsey in 1974. Picture: Nine News.

O'Dempsey was seeking a retrial if the application had been successful.

Garry Dubois, who was found guilty in November 2016 of murdering the children but of Mrs McCulkin's manslaughter, also lodged an appeal in the Queensland Court of Appeal, which was in December last year dismissed.



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