Steven Fennell's conviction for the murder of Liselotte Watson on Macleay Island has been quashed due to 'weak evidence'

Fennell's murder conviction quashed on 'weak evidence'

MACLEAY Island pamphlet deliverer Steven Mark John Fennell has been released from prison after the High Court quashed his murder conviction.

Mr Fennell, then 56, had pleaded not guilty to the charges but a 12-person jury convicted him at the end of a three-week murder trial.

The High Court on Wednesday, September 11 unanimously decided after just a four minute adjournment to quash Mr Fennell's conviction.

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said reasons would be published later.

Mr Fennell was released after six-and-a-half years in prison and has reportedly returned to his Macleay Island home.

He had been sentenced to life in prison and had an appeal against his conviction dismissed in 2017.

Mr Fennell told Nine News after his release that he did not know who killed Mrs Watson.

"I've said all along, I don't believe anyone intended to kill Mrs Watson," Mr Fennell said. I believe it was a bungled burglary."

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

He said it was "yoghurt day" in prison on a Wednesday when he was told that he was being released.

"...I was in my cell about to eat my yoghurt when prison officers came to the door and said 'you're going'," Mr Fennell said.

The court heard that it appeared many people on Macleay Island were aware that Mrs Watson kept large quantities of cash in her house.

A submission to court on behalf of Mr Fennell said the case was "based on profoundly weak circumstantial evidence and premised on little more than opportunity and claimed motive".

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