Convicted wife killer Russell Crump loses bid for pardon

A GLENWOOD man serving a life sentence for murdering his de facto wife more than a decade ago has lost his fight for a pardon.

In 2003 a jury found Russell Stewart Henry Crump murdered his wife, Erica Tomkinson after her body was found in an isolated lagoon at the end of a dirt track in the Toolara State Forest in February 2002.

Concrete blocks had been used to weigh her body down and she was found with two head injuries and six knife wounds in her abdomen.

After his conviction, Crump appealed his case as far as possible, going to the court of appeal and then the High Court.

His appeals were dismissed.

Years later, in March 2010, Crump then made a petition, requesting a pardon from the Governor.

The Attorney-General sought advice and decided not to refer his case back to the court of appeal.

Four years later, Crump tried again, seeking a pardon from the Governor based on "an anomaly of trial".

His case was again referred to the Attorney-General who did not refer it to the court of appeal.

Last year Crump filed an application to the court requesting a review of the decision not to refer his case to the court of appeal, claiming he had been denied natural justice and procedural fairness.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Ann Lyons dismissed Crump's case.

In her judgment, Justice Lyons said Crump had criticised evidence from his trial, saying there was no DNA evidence relied on and there was only one witness who linked him to the murder scene.

But Justice Lyons said Crump did not refer to any new material or any fresh evidence and she dismissed his application.

Facts outlined in the court judgment said the jury in 2003 found Crump murdered his de facto on the morning of February 4 2002.

Later that day, there was evidence that Crump went to the Gunalda Hotel and tried to persuade people he had been there longer than he actually was.

He also told people his wife had left him and took money, 11 or 12 tall bottles of home brew and clothing with her.

At the court of appeal, Crump argued the trial judge did not tell the jury whether or not the Crown could prove the killing was murder or manslaughter.

He also said some evidence, including acts of previous violence, should have been excluded at trial.

But this was rejected. - ARM NEWSDESK