Court reserves decision on ex psychiatrist’s murder conviction
Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:22pm
Former psychiatrist Jean Eric Gassy will have to wait until next year to learn whether the High Court will order a review of his conviction for the 2002 killing of Margaret Tobin, who was the head of South Australia’s Mental Health Services.
The court has reserved its decision in the case.
Gassy has told the High Court today there was a miscarriage of justice because he was denied full access to legal help at the start of his trial and the jury was given instructions reflecting the prosecution case, but not the defence case.
Several of the High Court judges questioned the instructions given to the jury.
But lawyers for South Australia have told the court that although the judge should not have restricted Gassy’s access to legal advice in the pre-trial period, it made no difference because his guilt was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Gassy is serving a life sentence.
The case against him included allegations he had committed the murder as an act of vengeance for Dr Tobin’s role in his being struck off as a psychiatrist.
The court will deliver its decision next year.