Murderer of homeless man appeals over accomplice's 'web of lies'
The killer of a homeless Polish man lied repeatedly about his accomplice's role in kicking him to death, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Lawyers for 28-year-old Lindsey White claimed jurors who convicted her of murdering Marek Muszynski in Newry should have been warned about the extent of co-defendant Adrian Cunningham's dishonesty.
White, formerly of Mary Street in the city, is seeking to overturn the guilty verdict returned against her for the brutal alleyway killing in July 2009.
The 40-year-old victim was beaten and had his throat stamped on during what the trial judge described as an "horrific attack on a drunk and largely defenceless man".
CCTV images were said to show his assailants walking away from the scene after stealing 70p from Mr Muszynski's pocket.
Cunningham (25), from Lisgullion Park, Newry, is serving at least 11 years in jail after admitting the murder.
His evidence was central to the case against White, involving claims that she had instigated the attack and helped kick and stamp on the victim. He also alleged she had robbed the homeless man of his last few coins.
Jurors rejected White's claims that she had been framed by Cunningham.
In March 2012 she was given a minimum tariff of 14 years on her life sentence for the murder.
Opening White's appeal against conviction yesterday, Frank O'Donoghue QC argued Cunningham's account during police interviews seriously conflicted with his evidence at trial.
The barrister identified four alleged areas of dishonesty about his client's actions:
- Claims that she kicked the victim repeatedly to the head.
- Allegations that she kicked Mr Muszynski about the body.
- Claims about White standing on the victim's throat.
- Cunningham's account of how a pair of jeans were disposed of.
Mr O'Donoghue contended: "The judge must have known from cross-examination that this man (Cunningham) was making a completely different case in the course of the trial, insofar as Lindsey's actions are concerned, to that which he had made in his previous interviews."
The disparities were so significant that a warning of the highest level should have been given to the jury, he insisted.
Mr O'Donoghue claimed the failure to do so had been unreasonable.
Following opening submissions the appeal was adjourned until later this month.