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Retrial For Man Accused Of Boxing Champ Vi...

Glax0r's Photo Glax0r 03 Oct 2012

Retrial for man accused of boxing champ Vince Cervi's murder

Paul Anderson, Herald Sun
October 03, 2012 11:12AM

Vince Cervi

Posted ImageVince Cervi in a picture used to promote a fight with Piilua Le'Atauan at Preston Town Hall in 1994. Source: HWT Image Library

A MAN found guilty of shooting dead former Australian boxing champion Vince Cervi has had his murder conviction quashed and been granted a retrial in the Court of Appeal this morning.

After a 22-day trial, David Allan Curran, 47, was found guilty of the 2009 murder of Mr Cervi and later jailed for a maximum 19 years with a 15-year-minimum term.

He sought leave to appeal against his conviction, while the Office of Public Prosecutions sought to appeal the length of his sentence on the grounds that it was manifestly inadequate.

The Crown had alleged that Mr Curran shot Mr Cervi at a Preston home after a property disagreement.

"Shortly after the applicant’s (Mr Curran’s) arrival, a fight broke out between the applicant and the deceased (Mr Cervi)," the Court of Appeal judgment states.

"During the struggle, four shots were fired. There were no eye-witnesses to the shooting and thus there was no direct evidence as to the precise circumstances in which the shots were fired.
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"One shot struck the outside of the deceased’s lower leg. Another, which was fired at close range, penetrated the deceased’s abdomen and perforated his aorta, which caused his death."

When questioned by police at the scene and later at Preston police station, Mr Curran said the gun discharged during a struggle.

The prosecution had alleged that an angry Mr Curran had gone to the Preston home with the intention of either killing Mr Cervi or inflicting really serious injury.

"The defence case was that the applicant and the deceased were good friends and that it was the deceased, not the applicant, who was acting irrationally and angrily on the day of his death; it was the deceased who produced the gun; and the gun discharged accidentally during the course of a struggle between the deceased and the applicant," the judgment states.

Mr Curran successfully appealed on the grounds that the verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory and could not be supported by the evidence and that the trial judge erred by failing to exclude a statement of a dead witness.

Another ground was added in relation to fresh evidence in the form of a new witness affidavit.

"(That) evidence goes to a matter which was central to the Crown case of whether the applicant took the weapon with him to the Preston house or whether the deceased produced it," the judgment states.

The decision to quash the conviction and order a retrial was the unanimous decision of justices Peter Buchanan, Geoff Nettle and David Harper.   

Mr Curran is now due back in the Supreme Court on October 17.
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