FENNELL LOSES APPEAL AGAINST LISELOTTE WATSON MURDER CONVICTION
Former junk mail deliverer, Steven John Fennell, has lost an appeal against his conviction in March last year for the murder of Macleay Island grandmother, Liselotte Watson in 2012.
The appeal was heard in the Brisbane Supreme Court on July 21 before Judge Robert Gotterson.
Fennell’s defence attempted to argue on appeal the verdict was unreasonable because jurors could not have ruled out that someone other than him had killed the 85-year-old.
But the Queensland Court of Appeal rejected this, and three other grounds, when it dismissed the appeal.
Fennell was sentenced to life imprisonment at the end of his trial, which heard he brutally murdered the elderly widow in a likely attempt to cover up financial issues probably associated with a gambling habit.
The prosecution argued he preyed on Ms Watson and withdrew $24,000 from her account in the three months before her death, ultimately killing her to cover his "financial misdeeds".
The grandmother was found dead on her bedroom floor having been struck repeatedly in the head with an object consistent with a hammer, the Crown had said.
In sentencing, Justice Martin Daubney said it appeared Fennell used the elderly woman's money to fund his gambling habit before taking her life.
"To have killed her in such a cruel and callous way bespeaks a base wickedness which is fully deserving of the sentence I am about to impose," he said.
According to the Brisbane Supreme Court: “Fennell was sentenced to life, as mandatory under QLD law, and unless otherwise stated, declared, the automatic (as dictated by law) term that has to be served before he can apply for parole is 20 years”.
Fennell was arrested in April 2013. He was detained in custody and was never released. He has served nearly 4.5 years of his sentence and will not be eligible for parole until April 2033.
• Fennell at the time of his arrest