House warming party murder conviction upheld
A MAN found guilty of murdering Sunshine Coast real estate agent Brent Dumper at a house warming party in 2010 has exhausted all legal avenues to have his conviction overturned.
Bevan Carl Forsythe had his appeal heard on Friday in the High Court where his barrister argued the murder could have been deemed accidental.
Forsythe was found guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court in 2013 over Mr Dumper's murder after the party on the Gold Coast turned sour.
He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of a second man, Michael McMillan, who was also shot at the party.
Mr Dumper, a former Waiuku antiques dealers, was shot at point-blank range after attending the party to celebrate his daughter, Jessie Anderson, moving into her new home.
Ms Anderson had moved in with her partner, whose second cousin, Forsythe, lived next door.
There was evidence that Forsythe became increasingly aggressive throughout the party and challenged Mr Dumper to a fight more than once.
Forsythe, later in the evening, went to his house next door and returned with a shotgun.
A struggle eventually occurred over the shotgun which was discharged resulting in Mr Dumper's death.
Forsythe's barrister Michael Copley argued in the High Court his murder conviction was unreasonable and the trial justice erred in his directions about an accident defence.
He argued the jury should have considered an accident defence because it was his evidence that the firearm discharged during the struggle and Forsythe did not foresee the shooting of anyone despite heading home to get the gun.
"My submission is the scenario arises when three people were on the ground struggling for the firearm," he said.
"It is also our submission that through the course of wrestling on the ground to gain control of the firearm it discharged therefore deeming it as being accidental."
"The jury should have been instructed to consider the discharging of the firearm as being accidental."
The High Court disagreed with the argument and dismissed the appeal.