Yesterday we heard arguments about the intercom and the bloodied fingermark visible in the crime scene video. Of course, given that we’re now dealing with a video recording (and a rather poor quality one at that), it can’t be proved that the mark was a bloodied finger mark. The actual physical evidence was never collected, never examined, never tested. The Crown’s expert witness made arguments that if the mark was blood, he thinks it might not have smeared in the way it apparently does on the video – although he can’t be certain. The final conclusion is that he ‘could not discount the possibility that it was indeed blood‘. It’s difficult to tell what the appeal judges make of this. Certainly we hope that they reach the same conclusion that we have come to ourselves through logic: If it is not a bloodied finger mark, then what else could it possibly be? What else could leave a mark the size, shape and colour of a bloodied finger print, right near the call button of the intercom? There being no other answer, we would expect it to raise serious concerns in the minds of jury members, had they been aware of it.
Importantly, we heard new evidence today from a lab technician at Mitchell High School, where Christopher Gilham did prac teaching as part of his teaching course. The technician told of a day in August 1993, as her and a colleague were preparing items for a lesson on forensic sciences, Christopher appeared, unnoticed until he spoke, and said something like, “the only way to cover up all the evidence is with fire.”
There was then some debate about the Crown case at trial – the fact that they had made it clear to the jury that all three Gilhams were dead before the fire had started. Given that the CO evidence now demonstrates very strongly that they (in particular, Christopher) were not dead, the Crown case at trial was obviously wrong. It’s not yet entirely clear, but the Crown may be given the opportunity to “re-configure” their case about the events – to put up an altered version of the Crown events that would see Jeff guilty.
The day ended on the issue of stab wounds similarity again, and the point that the Crown case at trial relied heavily on the similarity being so much of a coincidence that “you could not possibly accept it was the same person”. As we learnt on Monday, Day 1, there is no significance to any perceived similarity of the stab wounds, and therefore the point has been reinforced that the jury were clearly misled on a major plank of the prosecution case.
Today we will hear further submissions from both sides, in what will probably be the last day of the hearing.