Macleay pamphlet deliverer guilty of murder

Detective Sergeant Justin Suffolk, left, on the police barge after arresting Steven Mark John Fennell for the murder of Macleay Island grandmother Liselotte Watson in March 2013.
Detective Sergeant Justin Suffolk, left, on the police barge after arresting Steven Mark John Fennell for the murder of Macleay Island grandmother Liselotte Watson in March 2013.

A MACLEAY island pamphlet deliverer has been found guilty of murdering an 85-year-old grandmother after a three-week murder trial came to an end on Monday.

Steven Mark John Fennell, 56, pleaded not guilty to the charges but the 12-person jury found otherwise.

Wife Helen, in court for the verdict, broke down in tears and was comforted by Fennell's sister Sandra and friends from Macleay Island, where the case has been followed closely.

Mrs Fennell has in the past vowed to appeal a guilty verdict. 

Helen Fennell at Brisbane Supreme Court last week. Her husband, Steven Mark John Fennell was found guilty of murdering Macleay Island grandmother Liselotte Watson in November 2012.

Helen Fennell at Brisbane Supreme Court last week. Her husband, Steven Mark John Fennell was found guilty of murdering Macleay Island grandmother Liselotte Watson in November 2012.

The father of two, who was held in custody for three years since his arrest in March 2013, broke down and cried as he was led out of the court room to face life imprisonment.

Mrs Watson was bludgeoned to death with a hammer to the back of her head and her body found in a pool of blood at her Alistair Court home on November 12, 2012.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash quickly left the court room along with Detective Sergeant Justin Suffolk who has followed the case since day one and was the officer who arrested Fennell.

Defence barrister Adrian Donaldson mounted an argument that his client did not need to prove his innocence and it was up to the prosecution to prove Fennell killed Mrs Watson.

During the trial, the court heard Fennell had withdrawn amounts of up to $8000 but totalling $24,000 from Mrs Watson's bank account in the months before her death.

Mr Cash put his case that Fennell was using the money to hide his gambling habit.