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High court refuses to hear stabbing murder case

Forensic officers conduct tests at the Pheasant Street house in Slade Point on the morning after Darlene Saltner’s death.
Forensic officers conduct tests at the Pheasant Street house in Slade Point on the morning after Darlene Saltner’s death. Tony Martin

A MACKAY man serving a life sentence for stabbing his partner to death has failed in his last chance to overturn his murder conviction.

Lawyers for Kenneth Michael Martin on Friday tried to argue why his case should be put before the High Court of Australia after two failed attempts to change his guilty verdict in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Martin initially pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter after his partner Darlene Saltner was stabbed to death at Slade Point in 2008.

He was found guilty after a four-day trial in August 2010.

Martin has appealed his conviction twice in the Queensland Court of Appeal and was rejected both times.

On Friday at the High Court sitting in Brisbane, Martin's barrister Saul Holt that one of the police officers involved in Martin's initial arrest breached the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act.

Under the Act a police officer has to be satisfied that a person is not disadvantaged before questioning them.

But Martin's legal team has argued continuously that the officer did not do this when Martin was questioned at the murder scene.

The conversation between Martin and the police officer was recorded and played to the jury at his trial.

And on Friday Mr Holt said if this evidence was excluded, as it should have been, there would have been a retrial. He also argued there had been a miscarriage of justice.

After hearing Mr Holt's argument for about 15 minutes, the High Court of Australia justices dismissed the case, noting they were not satisfied there had been a miscarriage of justice.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  high court murder stabbing


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