Peter Falconio killer Bradley Murdoch should not have been convicted, says top criminal lawyer

The evidence used to convict the killer of Huddersfield backpacker Peter Falconio was 'riddled with doubt' a new investigation has claimed. Convicted killer Bradley Murdoch's legal team say never-before-seen police documents and video and fresh accounts from witnesses throw doubt on the case. And they claim Murdoch would not be convicted if the trial took place today

He was found guilty in 2005 of murdering Peter, 28, from Hepworth, and assaulting his girlfriend Joanne Lees, then 27, on the remote Stuart Highway, Northern Territory in Australia's Outback in July, 2001. No body has ever been found and the conviction was largely based on a DNA match on Joanne's T-shirt. Joanne, from Almondbury, fought off Murdoch and managed to hide in the bush until being rescued.

Drifter Bradley Murdoch withdrew his appeal for killing Huddersfield backpacker Peter Falconio in Australia

A four-part Channel 4 documentary shows Andrew Fraser, once a top criminal defence lawyer, heading the probe and trying to get a petition up to win Murdoch parole.

In it, a top forensic scientist reveals he believes the blood found on the road is not consistent with the amount he would expect. Prof Barry Boettcher said: "Based on the DNA and blood evidence, I would not expect a guilty verdict today. I do not believe he should have been convicted."

Prof Boettcher said he found some of the DNA collection "worrying" and that black manacles used to tie up Joanne - said to have Murdoch's DNA on them - were "con--taminated".

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You can sign up very simply by popping your email address in the box at the top of this article, just under the picture. A second forensic scientist, Brian McDonald said: "Looking at the DNA evidence, it became very obvious there was very little clear evidence at all." Vince Millar, a truck driver who picked up Joanne after the shocking incident, previously said he saw car lights circling in the distance before spotting Joanne.

In an exclusive new interview, he said just before he saw her run out into the road, he also saw two men bundling a third man "like jelly" into a red car. He said: "There was something they didn't want me to see. I am pretty sure that guy in the middle very well could have been Peter Falconio."

Prof John Fryer, an expert in height analysis on CCTV, claims footage which Joanne said shows Murdoch at a Shell truck stop in Alice Springs on the night of the attack could not be him. He said: "I would think it is unlikely it is Murdoch. The man is 10cm shorter than Murdoch."

The documentary also looks at a scientific content analysis report on a police video interview with Joanne the night after the attack, which has not been made public before. It says vital evidence is missing from her account and it has "strong indications of being deceptive". Mr Fraser said: "The more we have delved into this case, the more obvious it has become that it is riddled with doubt."

Murder in the Outback: The Falconio and Lees Mystery is on Channel 4 on Sunday until Wednesday, in four parts.

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