08:19 | 26th April 2019

News: World

Tue 29 Jun, 2010
By Danielle Carter

She didn't die quickly and she didn't die easily.

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No proof in Sydney lesbian killer case

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The case against a woman accused of killing her lesbian lover has not "come within a bull's roar" of proof beyond reasonable doubt, a court has heard.

Defence counsel Bill Boucaut told the South Australian Supreme Court on Tuesday that the evidence against Francis "Frankie" Lorraine Marshall amounted to a collation of highly suspicious bits and pieces in relation to the death of Bernadette Liston in 2002.

"But there is nothing cogent here, certainly nothing that makes this anything other than a very dangerous prosecution," Mr Boucaut said in his final submissions.

"This case doesn't get past mere suspicion and it doesn't come within a bull's roar of proof beyond reasonable doubt."

Marshall, 63, has been accused of the frenzied killing of Ms Liston at their Victor Harbor home, south of Adelaide.

The prosecution has alleged the 46-year-old was stabbed, had her throat cut and was bashed and shot five times because she was planning to run off with Marshall's brother, Daryl Purcell.

It has admitted the case is largely circumstantial with a key issue being some bloody ugg-boot footprints found near Ms Liston's body.

But Mr Boucaut said Marshall didn't know of the alleged affair between Ms Liston and her brother and the evidence of her owning or wearing ugg boots at Victor Harbor was inconclusive.

He also told Justice Margaret Nyland, who is sitting without a jury, that forensic evidence was of no help and the prosecution's case had not ruled out the murder being committed by an intruder.

In his final submissions prosecutor Mark Norman said the killing of Ms Liston was brutal and sadistic and took the killer some time.

"It doesn't put it too highly to say that Bernadette Liston was butchered," he said.

"She didn't die quickly and she didn't die easily."

Justice Nyland has reserved her judgment to a date to be fixed.


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