Natasha Rudra June 15, 2012
Judges have dismissed an appeal against the acquittal of a young woman accused of murdering an apprentice chef in Kingston four years ago.
The Crown had lodged a reference appeal after the woman was acquitted last year, arguing the presiding judge, ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Terence Higgins, had made errors in coming to his not-guilty verdict.
A reference appeal is made on points of law and cannot change the outcome of the trial.
The woman, who cannot be named because she was only 17 at the time, stabbed apprentice chef Cameron Anderson repeatedly after drinking with him in Green Square in September 2008.
But she was acquitted of a murder charge after Chief Justice Higgins found she had been sexually assaulted by Mr Anderson and stabbed him in self defence.
This morning the Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown appeal, saying it had no jurisdiction to consider the grounds of appeal.
Justices Richard Refshauge and Bruce Lander said the court had no power to express an opinion on errors of law in a trial that resulted in an acquittal.
They said the questions in the reference appeal did not stem from the proceedings before Chief Justice Higgins and could not be dealt with by the court.
Justice Hilary Penfold agreed.