Leanne Holland: Ex-cop wants Graham Stafford re-tried

After having his conviction quashed, Graham Stafford is once again at the centre of the case.
After having his conviction quashed, Graham Stafford is once again at the centre of the case.

ONE of the original investigators of Leanne Holland's murder has called for a new trial, saying the public deserves to know the truth of the girl's "undignified" end.

Leanne's murder again entered the spotlight after Channel 7 obtained a 500-page review, kept secret for five years, that uncovered a raft of new evidence pointing to Graham Stafford.

Twelve-year-old schoolgirl Leanne's body was found in bushland at Redbank Plains in 1991, four days after she was last seen alive.

She had extensive head injuries and her skirt was pulled above her waist.

Police charged Stafford, the boyfriend of Leanne's older sister, with murder and he was convicted the following year.


Leanne Holland.
Leanne Holland.



He was released from prison after serving 14 years, his conviction overturned and a new trial ordered.

But a new trial never occurred, with Queensland's Director of Public Prosecutions saying it would not be in the public interest given Stafford had already served so much time in jail.

"Leanne deserves, and the people of Queensland deserve, justice," former detective Ralph Knust said.

"I'm appalled that the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General, or whoever it is that's behind the decision, will not take this back to court.

"I think it's time. The public deserve to know the truth of the whole story."

The review used the latest DNA technology to identify Leanne's blood in the shower of the family home and in the boot of Stafford's car.

Graham Stafford in 1992.
Graham Stafford in 1992. Kathy Sundstrom

It also found an imprint on her thigh and buttock matched the make of mat in Stafford's car boot.

Police believe Leanne was murdered as she was dyeing her hair in the bathroom.

Leanne had spoken to her father on the day she disappeared about colouring her hair blonde and was seen at the shops near her home.

Stafford always claimed Leanne never returned from her trip to the shops.

But a forensic analysis of Leanne's hair has now determined the dye was in her hair at the time of her death.

"My view is that the evidence that we gathered back in 1991 was compelling," Mr Knust said.

Topics:  crime graham stafford leanne holland

News Corp Australia

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