We all know Graham Stafford killed Leanne Holland. The police told us so, after their exhaustive review of the case which was finalised in 2012.
But when did he kill her?
The crown case is that she died on Monday 23 September 1991 between 8am and 4.30pm. It is acknowledged that if she did not die during that time frame, Graham Stafford was not the killer. The Commissioner of Police wrote on 23 August 2012 “….. entomological research has determined the approximate time of death was 23 September 1991″.
So does that mean time of death may have been 22 September 1991 or 24 September 1991? One definition of approximate is ‘close to the actual, but not completely accurate or exact.’
25 years ago the crown forensic expert put the time of death as close to sunset on the Monday. Even that timing was outside the time frame mentioned above. Exhaustive tests by the defence put the time of death as definitely being on the Tuesday, perhaps even as late as Tuesday evening.
It is my understanding that the police case is now that Graham Stafford committed the murder on the morning of the Monday, not the afternoon. However as I have not seen the reinvestigation report I cannot confirm this. Stafford’s legal advisers have been refused a copy through legal channels. The police and crown have repeatedly refused to release it. Perhaps Channel 7, who do have a copy of the report, can enlighten us. I am particularly interested in perusing the credentials and experience of the person who calculated the time of death as being on the morning of the Monday.
Below is a timeline of the period from 7am – 8.30pm on Monday 23 September 1991. The timeline includes all known sightings, contested and otherwise. It does not include disputed sightings of Leanne Holland on the Tuesday. The police commissioner wrote in the correspondence referred to above “…It has been determined the last credible sighting of Leanne Holland was about 10.15am on 23 September 1991″.
In the police case, Graham Stafford had up to 3 hrs to commit the murder and cover it up. More than sufficient time apparently. If any one of the disputed sightings is correct, then that time frame is reduced significantly.
I believe the coroner, not the police should decide the last credible sighting of the deceased.
I also believe the coroner, not the police should determine the date and time of death.
The assistance of Bassem Nimah in producing the timeline is acknowledged and appreciated.