There is no DNA evidence tying a man convicted of killing his ex-wife to the Melbourne crime scene but he cannot prove where he was at the time and attempted to fake an alibi, a court has heard.
Robert Arthur Meade, 53, is seeking to appeal his conviction for murdering Sally Brooks in the pair’s former home a week before she was due to move to the United Kingdom with their three children in 2011.
Prosecutors want his 23-year jail term increased, saying it’s not enough for the brutal, callous and cowardly act he committed.
Defence barrister Catherine Boston said the Crown case against Meade had been built on a “cloud of words”, and there was a significant risk an innocent man had been jailed.
“No doubt Mr Meade is a strange man. He says strange things. That does not make him a murderer,” Ms Boston told the Victorian Court of Appeal on Monday.
She said the contact between Meade and Ms Brooks had been cordial and there was no DNA evidence linking Meade to the scene.
There was unidentified DNA from samples taken from Ms Brooks and footprints found at the scene were a full size larger than the size Meade wears, Ms Boston told the court.
Prosecutor Douglas Trapnell QC said the unidentified DNA, which was taken from a swab of Ms Brooks’ fingertips, could have been anybody’s.
Mr Trapnell said Meade had lied from the beginning of the police investigation and the jury in his trial had to look at the whole case.
Meade had attempted to manufacture a false alibi and lied to police about when he’d last been in Melbourne, Mr Trapnell said.
The court heard Meade, who lived in Adelaide at the time, drove down Ms Brooks’ Donvale street a month before she was killed.
If Meade had a legitimate purpose for being in Donvale, he was the only one who knew it and could explain it, Mr Trapnell told the court.
“He hasn’t co-operated with police. He hasn’t assisted them at all,” Mr Trapnell said.
Ms Boston said there were inconsistencies in the story Meade told police, but there was also evidence he was a man who exaggerated and told “tall tales”, including lies about being an international spy.
The Court of Appeal reserved its judgment until a later date.