List of Miscarriage of Justice Cases - List of Cases - Australia


  • Richard John Doney was arrested in 1984 with being knowingly concerned in the importation of cannabis resin. In 2001 he was acquitted when the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal ruled unanimously that new evidence had established reasonable doubt and that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. See more information
  • Colin Ross was pardoned on May 27, 2008, 86 years after his conviction and execution.
  • Darryl Beamish and John Button were convicted of murders committed by Eric Edgar Cooke in 1961 and 1963, respectively.
  • Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton was convicted in 1982 for the murder of her 9 week-old daughter, Azaria, after claiming that the baby had been taken by a dingo. In 1985 her conviction was overturned and she was released from prison. In June 2012 an Australian coroner made a final ruling that a dingo had taken the baby and had caused her death. Coroner Elizabeth Morris apologised to the Chamberlain family and an amended death certificate was immediately made available to them.
  • Ray, Peter, and Brian Mickelberg were convicted in 1983 of the Perth Mint Swindle. In 2002, Tony Lewandowski came forward and admitted the police had framed the brothers. In July 2004 their convictions were quashed and as part of a libel settlement, the West Australian police issued a public apology in December 2007.
  • Roseanne Catt was convicted in 1991 on 9 counts including attempted murder of her husband Barry Catt. She was arrested after she had agreed to assist the Department of Family and Community services in the prosecution of her husband for molesting his children (her stepchildren). The detective leading the investigation (Peter Thomas) was a business associate of Barry Catt and had a previous antagonistic relationship with Roseanne Catt. The investigation was carried out from the home of a friend of Barry Catt rather than from the local police station. The crown prosecutor was Patrick Power who later pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. In 2004, after an 18-month investigation by Judge Davidson, Ms Catt's appeals against seven of the nine convictions (including attempted murder) were upheld whereas the other two convictions were allowed to stand.
  • Andrew Mallard was convicted for the murder of jeweler Pamela Lawrence in 1994 after eight unrecorded hours of police interrogation and a brief recorded "confession" that followed. In 2005, the High Court of Australia was advised that the prosecution and/or police had withheld evidence which showed his innocence, and overturned his conviction. As such, Mallard was released from prison. A "cold case" review of the murder conducted after Mallard's release implicated one Simon Rochford as the actual offender and Mallard was exonerated.
  • Salvatore Fazzari, Jose Martinez, and Carlos Pereiras were convicted in 2006 for the murder of Phillip Walsham in 1998. The conviction was overturned by the Western Australian Court of Appeal in 2007 on the grounds that the guilty verdicts were unreasonable and could not be supported on the evidence.
  • Graham Stafford was convicted in 1992 of the murder of twelve-year-old Leanne Sarah Holland, the younger sister of Stafford's then partner. Stafford unsuccessfully appealed in 1992 and 1997. Stafford served over 14 years in prison before being paroled in 2006. One of the conditions of his appeal was that he not speak to the media. In a rare third appeal in 2009 Stafford was successful with two judges ordering a retrial and the third recommending an acquittal. One aspect of the decision of the High Court in determining the Andrew Mallard case was quoted by the majority as an important factor in their decision to uphold the appeal. The Queensland Director of Prosecutions decided that a retrial was not in the public interest. Stafford and his supporters are seeking an investigation into the original prosecution.
  • Farah Jama was convicted on 21 July 2008 of rape of an unconscious woman purely on the basis of DNA evidence. The woman had been found unconscious partly undressed in a toilet cubicle in a night club. She had no recollection of having been raped. Mr Jama served 15 months of a 6-year sentence before being acquitted by a court of appeal. A subsequent investigation by a retired judge concluded that there had been no rape and that the DNA sample had been contaminated at the time it was taken from the alleged victim. Mr Jama was awarded an ex gratia payment of A$250,000 by the Victorian Government.
  • Terry Irving was convicted in 1993 of the armed robbery of a Cairns bank, and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Identification evidence given at his trial was later established to be false. Irving protested his innocence throughout his trial and appeals. He was denied legal aid for his appeals. After serving over half of his prison sentence, Irving had his conviction quashed by the High Court of Australia. The High Court stated that Irving’s original trial was unfair, saying that it had the "gravest misgivings about the circumstances of the case". When the Queensland Government refused to make restitution to Irving, he took his case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which stated in 2002 that Irving had "been the subject of manifest injustice" and "should be entitled to compensation". In 2009, Queensland Attorney General Cameron Dick abandoned a judicial review of Irving's case, which had been ordered by Dick's predecessor, Kerry Shine. Irving is yet to be compensated for his four and a half years of wrongful imprisonment.

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