Heroin murder duo's High Court bid rejected
THE Central Queensland duo responsible for murdering a young man through a lethal heroin dose left in a letterbox have had a High Court bid rejected.
Rockhampton pair Bradley David Hill and Kerryn Ann Young were sentenced to life imprisonment after a murder trial in June last year.
Gladstone man Luke McAuliffe was the victim of jealousy, anger and an intent to kill, the Crown argued during the trial.
Hill and Young tried to argue the verdicts were unreasonable but the Queensland Court of Appeal, in a judgment handed down earlier this year, found there was no miscarriage of justice.
Barrister Soraya Ryan, acting for Hill, argued in the High Court that there were issues with causation, known risks about the drugs and the Queensland appeal court's approach to evidence.
She said the case was presented as "homicide or nothing" but suggested Hill and Young could still bear responsibility for their behaviour if they were not criminally responsible for the death.
"So they may well be responsible for an offence like intending to harm by noxious substance or certainly the supply of a dangerous drug," she said.
"But their criminal responsibility on the facts of this case depended upon whether the deceased had made this voluntary and informed choice to inject the contents of the syringe."
Barrister Peter Callaghan, acting for Young, said the High Court would not get "many clearer examples of error in a Court of Appeal".
"Evidence admissible against one accused only - perhaps I overstate that - but evidence admissible against one accused only was used by the court in the affirmation of a verdict against the other. The error was stark," he said.
Justice Kenneth Hayne said special leave to appeal was refused in each application.
"There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the actual orders made by the Court of Appeal in these matters," he said.
Mr McAuliffe was found dead in the bedroom of his mother's Gladstone home on October 10, 2010.
He was good friends with Hill and his on-and-off partner, Young, but there had been a falling out not long before he died.
All three used methamphetamines.
Hill was upset that Mr McAuliffe and Young had been ringing and sending texts pretending they were in a relationship and sleeping together a few nights prior.
The jury heard Hill and Young then colluded to try to trick Mr McAuliffe to come to a motel to "get fried".
When Mr McAuliffe refused, suspecting something was up, Young told him there would be a syringe in the letter box but did not tell him it was heroin or that Hill was delivering it.
Mr McAuliffe, not knowing it was heroin, injected the drug and died shortly afterwards.