Bowraville hearing: Four informers 'lack credibility', court hears

June Speedy, centre, mother of Clinton Speedy-Duroux, arrives at court on Thursday.  Photo: AAP
June Speedy, centre, mother of Clinton Speedy-Duroux, arrives at court on Thursday. Photo: AAP

FOUR witnesses who were allegedly told details about the unsolved murder of three Aboriginal children in northern NSW "lack credibility", a court has heard.

Evelyn Greenup, 4, Clinton Speedy-Duroux, 16, and Colleen Walker, 16, disappeared from Bowraville over a period of five months starting from September 1990.

The bodies of the first two children were later discovered dumped off a dirt road. Colleen has never been found, but a coroner has ruled she is dead.

A man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found not guilty of the murders of Evelyn and Clinton at two separate trials. In 2016, he was charged with the murders again after a police re-investigation.

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On Wednesday, a hearing began in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal to see if there is enough fresh and compelling evidence to overturn the two acquittals and order a new trial, which would also see the man charged with Colleen's murder for the first time.

The court heard the fresh evidence is a combination of Colleen Walker's case, which has never been before the court, and the evidence of four informers the man had spoken to.

Some of the four do not know each other, the Crown told the court, and there are compelling similarities between their accounts, including two who mentioned tomato sauce being on the screen door of the man's caravan.

On Thursday, the man's barrister Mark Ierace SC cast doubt upon the informers. He said one of the men, given the pseudonym Mr R, had been linked to an ICAC investigation about prisoners giving false evidence. Mr R has since died.

Another of the men, given the pseudonym Mr I, came forward after watching a segment on Australia's Most Wanted and many of the details he provided did not go beyond what was included in the show.

Mr I told police he had been in Grafton Jail with the accused man in the 1990s and the man admitted to killing Clinton Speedy-Duroux.

The man allegedly told Mr I, "I won't be convicted because there isn't enough evidence", "I abducted him from a caravan", and "you never go back to the scene of a crime".

"But that was having watched Australia's Most Wanted, which ended in an enticing reward of $100,000," Mr Ierace said.

Mr Ierace also detailed witness evidence from one of the previous trials, in which a woman said she had spotted a man matching Clinton's description hitch-hiking on the side of the road on the morning he disappeared.

The hearing continues before Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, Chief Judge at Common Law Clifton Hoeben and Justice Lucy McCallum.