Queensland Appeal Court judges dismiss appeal by Steven Mark John Fennell

THE junk mail delivery man who murdered an 85-year-old Macleay Island grandmother in 2012 has had an appeal against his conviction dismissed.

Steven Mark John Fennell appealed against his conviction for murder in the Supreme Court in March last year.

Fennell was sentenced to life in prison.

Liselotte Watson’s body was found in a pool of blood in her two-storey house on Macleay Island on November 13, 2012.

Delivering judgement on Friday, the Appeal Court judges said none of Fennell’s grounds of appeal succeeded.

Fennell said in his submission the verdict was unreasonable and not supported by evidence.

He said it was possible the killer had been a burglar.

Judge Robert Gotterson said there had been no forced entry and little, if any, signs of a burglary.

“There was evidence of motive on the appellant’s part,” he said.

“He had attended to the deceased’s banking and had made the suspicious withdrawal of $8000 of November 2, 2012. There was evidential basis for concluding that he had stolen at least $5000 from the deceased and was at risk that his theft would soon be discovered.”

A toiletry bag belonging to Mrs Watson was found at Thompson Point, Macleay Island on November 10.

It contained documents relating to her bank account, including receipts for withdrawals.

Three days after Mrs Watson’s body was found a wallet belonging to her and a hammer were found on the same beach.

The judge said it was unlikely the same burglar would rob Mrs Watson’s house twice over a few days to take the toiletries’ bag and then return on the day she was killed.

Fennell argued there were deficiencies in the preparation for and conduct of the trial by his legal representatives.

Justice Gotterson said evidence before the court demonstrated a likelihood that Fennell had resorted to a source to fund his living expenses and gambling habit.