David Eastman, who was jailed for 19 years on suspicion of murdering one of Australia’s top police officers, was found not guilty and received $ 7 million in damages. Eastman was acquitted of the murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester last year. Her case was reopened in 2013 after new statements about evidence from a trial in the 1990s led to her being convicted Criminal Solicitor Sydney. The government of the special state capital Canberra (ACT) has offered compensation of 3 million dollars, but Eastman asked for a minimum of 18 million dollars. Judge Michael Elkaim awarded him $ 7 million in damages. In the meantime, if you also need a lawyer who can save you from wrongful imprisonment, you can call the criminal lawyer Sydney.
In his consideration, Judge Elkaim referred to the difficulties Eastman experienced while in prison, including harassment from fellow inmates. Eastman admitted that he had lost the opportunity to have a family and a career. His mother and two siblings died while he was in prison.
Attorney Sam Tierney representing Eastman said his client was relieved and accepted this decision well. The attorney stated that Eastman explained his desire to move on.
During his time in prison, Eastman continued to fight legally, including in the Supreme Court, to prove his innocence. His efforts paid off in 2014 when a panel was formed to re-examine the case at the ACT Supreme Court, led by Judge Brian Martin.
The formation of the panel was triggered by claims of new evidence from a friend of Eastman, who claimed he could explain how gunshot residue got into Eastman’s car at the time of the murder.
The friend, named Benjamin Smith, admitted that he had shot Eastman’s rabbit before, without Eastman’s knowledge. He also said that, on the day of the Winchester Commissioner’s murder, Eastman had a lengthy conversation with his mother.
Evidence, in the form of flat, green particles found in a car, was the key to the Eastman trial in 1995. It was this evidence that prosecutors used to link it to the crime scene.
In a retrial, Judge Martin rejected Smith’s explanation of the key evidence, calling it lacking credibility. However, Smith’s testimony opened up an investigation that found flaws in the key evidence used to convict Eastman.