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Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

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Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  cshahar on Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:40 am

I was shocked and dismayed to learn that Andrew Fitzherbert, the author of Hand Psychology, had been convicted of murder in his home country of Australia in 1999. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Brisbane veterinarian Kathleen Marshall. She was stabbed more than 50 times. The case was celebrated as a landmark. It was the first time in Australia someone had been convicted of a crime on the basis of DNA evidence alone.

Andrew, now behind bars for almost a decade, continues to protest his innocence. He claims he had never met the victim, nor been to her house.There were a lot of holes in the prosecution's case. Not to mention the fact that Andrew had no criminal record and those who knew him described him as a pacifist. Quite disturbing was that they used Andrew's vocation as a palmist against him, implying that it was the scrapheap of science, and that he was obviously unscrupulous, etc.

Does anyone know whether there have been developments in the case more recently? I would be interested in whether a review had taken place in the last few years.

Thanks,

-Charles

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:02 am

Andrew's is a really strange & unusual case. First I heard of it was at a Cheirological Society handreading weekend seminar in Oxford, at Christopher Jones' house. (maybe it was the seminar on mental health that we already discussed? 1998? ) Sunday morning I think.... the phone rang - Christopher came back looking pale and shocked "Andrew's been arrested ... for murder ...of the President of the Cats Society?!?!"

Since then I have seen reports of the story (sensationalised!) in Uk women's magazines, other things online.
I understand that there were various evidence that were not disclosed at Andrew's trial, that could have vindicated him. (including the possible/probable date/time of the murder when apparently Andrew had an alibi?)
I know Manfred is in contact with Andrew Fitzherbert, maybe he can tell us more.


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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Patti on Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:26 am

Liz Hallows, who has always defended his innocence, told me when we last spoke several weeks ago that he was getting a 2nd chance. I now don't recall the details. Either more evidence is being brought forward or now being allowed. She felt optimistic that this time he would be able to prove it wasn't him. Liz has also stayed in communication with him over the years.
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Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  cshahar on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:57 pm

I am so glad to hear that Patti! After all this time the Australian justice system seems to have come to its senses. let's hope that his judgment is overturned. It is hard to understand how a modern court system can get it so wrong. I hope they investigate the issue of the DNA sample.

-Charles

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Manfred on Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:30 pm

Hy members,

didn't Ed recently bring in here the latest news about Andrew?

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  zaobhand on Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:51 pm

Hi Manfred,

If you happen to have available Ed's update, could you paste it here. I couldn't find the communication.

Boaz Thanks!
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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Martijn (admin) on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:49 pm

Manfred wrote:Hy members,

didn't Ed recently bring in here the latest news about Andrew?

Manfred
Hi Manfred,

The answer to your question is 'no' - so far at this forum Ed only posted his 'conference updates'. Can you deliver us that 'news'?

wave


Last edited by Martijn (admin) on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:43 pm

I read something that Ed had posted about Andrew somewhere recently..maybe it was on facebook? (tho I can't find it). I'm not sure whether it was up-to-date news though?

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:09 pm

There is a book about Andrew's conviction : "Five Drops of Blood"
http://www.newholland.com.au/product.php?isbn=9781741106527

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:45 pm

I found what Ed publicised on facebook -
Right The Injustice: Andrew Fitzherbert, Noted Palmist, has been in prison now for 12 years. New evidence has now come to light that his lawyers did not present in his trial that would have exonerated him. The forensic DNA results were sent to a government expert in Victoria who said they lacked validity. Neither Andrew nor his attorneys were shown this report nor was it presented in Court.
Even in the trial the police got the day of the murder wrong. It was on a Friday for which he had a good alibi and not the Thursday as presented to Court. Queensland does not allow a second Appeal so he can only be freed on a pardon or on a new trial. Andrew's pro bono barrister died and the next person who looked at the case could not find the old barrister's notes. Andrew's case is now with the Innocence Project and we hope they will at least get him out on a pardon to start with.

There is an article here from 2007
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6214

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  zaobhand on Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:30 am

Hi Lynn,

Thanks a lot for sharing with us these links and latest news from Ed.

Boaz
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Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Mary Garden on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:24 pm

zaobhand wrote:Hi Lynn,

Thanks a lot for sharing with us these links and latest news from Ed.

Boaz

I am the author of the 2007 article published in the Courier-Mail and Online Opinion.
It is not true that Andrew's lawyer did not receive the information re the DNA before the trial: I have a letter addressed to his Legal Aid lawyer (P. Delibaltas) dated 29/3/99 from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine which concluded
1. Discrepancies were noted between the reported results and those in the notes
2. The claim that the stains came from the accused and no one else cannot be justified.

This 5-page report was not presented at the trial. I have only just received this report (from Andrew) and am greatly disturbed by it. Andrew himself has also only recently been given a copy by a diligent researcher working on the case.

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:24 am

Hi Mary, Welcome to this forum.
Thank you for writing that article & thanks for joining us here and adding this information. It seems grossly unjust that such evidence was available and not presented at the trial. What is the situation at the moment? Does Andrew have any right to appeal (or whatever legal avenues there are)?

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Andrew Fitzherbert

Post  Mary Garden on Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:32 am

Lynn wrote:Hi Mary, Welcome to this forum.
Thank you for writing that article & thanks for joining us here and adding this information. It seems grossly unjust that such evidence was available and not presented at the trial. What is the situation at the moment? Does Andrew have any right to appeal (or whatever legal avenues there are)?

His case is with the Griffith University Inncocence Project, but it is not a priority. He has also been unable to find a lawyer who will act for him pro bono. He also appealed but acted for himself (foolishly) but that was many years ago. Andrew has said that his Legal Aid lawyers told him before the trial independent experts reviewed the evidence and confirmed it was okay. Clearly, that is not the case at all. This independence advice was supposed to be presented at the trial and would have shown that the evidence Ken Cox presented was questionable, if not flawed.

I'm considering several options, however.

Everything is in limbo in the moment because our home town Brisbane is facing perhaps the worst tragedy Australia has seen with the horrendous floods, and even though I no longer live within the city, our old family home is completely underwater. It is a very trying and upsetting time for Queenslanders at present.

Glad to have found this forum!

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:20 am

We are glad you found this forum too Mary :-) (I am sure I speak for others as well as myself)

I was sorry to read about the Brisbane floods, and to hear that your old family home is underwater.

It is awful to hear that Andrew's "case....is not a priority" and that he has been "unable to find a lawyer who will act for him pro bono" (pls excuse my ignorance, I don't know what 'pro bono' means!).

Great to hear that you have some options in mind Mary. I am sure there are several people here who would try to help Andrew if they knew how to.

Thanks for sharing this info with us.

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Andrew Fitzherbert

Post  Mary Garden on Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:56 pm

Lynn wrote:We are glad you found this forum too Mary :-) (I am sure I speak for others as well as myself)

I was sorry to read about the Brisbane floods, and to hear that your old family home is underwater.

It is awful to hear that Andrew's "case....is not a priority" and that he has been "unable to find a lawyer who will act for him pro bono" (pls excuse my ignorance, I don't know what 'pro bono' means!).

Great to hear that you have some options in mind Mary. I am sure there are several people here who would try to help Andrew if they knew how to.

Thanks for sharing this info with us.

Thanks! Lynn

pro bono means for free; a solicitor that will act for Andrew and not charge him anything.

I'll keep you in the loop with any new developments!

Mary

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Lynn on Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:54 pm

Thanks Mary.

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From Lloyd Hamilton about Andrew Fitzherbert, a friend

Post  Lloyd on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:10 am

Andrew Fitzherbert is one of Australia's best known palmists and is very well known in Queensland where he founded the Queensland Palmistry Guild.

He has written the following books:-
"Hand Psychology" - 1968, Angus & Robinson, Sydney
"The Palmist's Companion" - 1992, Scarecrow Press, London
"Psychic Sense" - 1986, Angus & Robinson, Sydney
"Palmistry-Your Career in Your Hands" (with Nathaniel Altman) - 1989, Aquarian Press, London

Andrew was a school teacher, palmist, spiritualist and book seller. He had no criminal record before the court case, and he is something of a pacifist.
It is difficult to see how anyone would seriously believe that he could carry out the frenzied murder that involved 52 stab wounds.

The police were under a lot of pressure to get a conviction for the murder of Dr. Kathleen Marshall, the president of the Queensland Cat Protection Society, as she was a high profile person with political connections.

The court case had serious faults. No real motive was established, no witness was found, and no murder weapon found. No finger prints were used. Furthermore, the police wrongly believed the murder happened on a Thursday (after consulting the growth of maggots in the corpse). Heat from lighting was not taken into account. There is now very strong evidence that Dr. Marshall was killed on the following Friday at between 6pm and 7pm, a time slot for which Andrew has a good alibi.

The main evidence used, and the case was constructed to revolve around this, was DNA evidence from some blood found at the crime scene. This was claimed to be Fitzherbert's. When it was claimed that his blood was found at the crime scene and he denied ever having been to the locality it looked like he was a liar who had been at the crime scene. Even if he was there it did not prove he was the murderer. There was room for reasonable doubt, but this was denied to Andrew in his court case. He still claims that he has never been to the Marshall residence. Now there is strong evidence that the DNA evidence was faulty and certainly not good enough to present in a court case. Andrew was not a rich man and had to use legal aid instead of hiring his own legal team. Little was known about DNA in court circles in those days, and this was the first case in Australia to depend on DNA evidence.

Andrew appealed against the court decision but did not use a barrister. It amounted to him saying the DNA evidence was faulty and the DNA scientist was not trustworthy. Had he used a barrister effectively, and some extra evidence that he did not know was available to him, he would have been set free.

Bond University Professor Paul Wilson thought the case was suspect and put a student to work on it in his Miscarriages of Justice program. This added evidence to mount a new case and the student tried unsuccessfully to have the DNA work re-tested. Later Andrew's brother arranged for a pro bono barrister to work on the case. Pro bono barristers work for free or a very low income. We did not learn what the barrister was doing and a couple of years later he died. His successor could not find suitable notes and declined to take up the case on a pro bono basis.

Currently the Innocence Project at Griffith University is taking up the case but they are slow and do not communicate easily. It is possible that either the Innocence Project will get more active or a search will be made for another pro bono barrister.

Dianne McInnes wrote a book on the case and Paul Wilson took an interest in it. The book is "Five Drops of Blood: Murder in the Cat Protection Society", by Paul Wilson & Dianne McInnes, 2008, published by New Holland.
Ted Duhs has also written a book which includes the case. It is "Crucial Errors in Recent Murder Investigations in Queensland". This should be published soon this year.
There have been several publications in periodicals including a notable one by Mary Garden, (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6214 )
Andrew has been in gaol now since mid 1999 and is in for "life".

At about 1900 the first conviction was made using finger prints. At about 2000 the first conviction was made (in Queensland) using DNA evidence (and no finger prints). The conviction using finger prints relied on 11 points of correlation. This would not be allowed today when more than 14 correlations are required. The first DNA case in Queensland was also flawed and the legal system is still learning but is less over awed with the science and its application today.


cheers


Lloyd


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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  asif amin on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:45 am

Thanks Lloyd for useful information.
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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Martijn (admin) on Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:14 pm


Hello Lloyd,

Thanks for adding your detailed input.

Thumb up

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Martijn (admin) on Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:52 am


Yesterday one of our non-member visitors posted the following message:


"Hi there, my name is Sandra and I have seen Andrew at the prison when I go to visit my son in law. I also met a couple of his visitors, I can't remember the lady's name but the man was Ted Duhs. They both said the same thing to me (i met them separately) as we sat chatting. They said "my friend says he is innocent and I believe him." I was stunned to hear this as I've been visiting prisons in Brisbane for the past 4 years, and no one had ever said anything like that to me before. I am appalled to think that Andrew has been in prison all these years for a crime he didn't commit. It's very sad indeed. I just wanted to say that I hope the truth will come out soon. I am astounded how flawed the legal system can be."

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Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Mary Garden on Wed May 18, 2011 1:24 am



My latest article on the Andrew Fitzherbert case has just been published in Crime Magazine (US). Here is the link:

DNA Evidence on Trial: The Curious Case of the Palmist and the “Catwoman”

http://www.crimemagazine.com/

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Re: Andrew Fitzherbert's Conviction

Post  Patti on Wed May 18, 2011 2:45 am

Mary Garden wrote:

My latest article on the Andrew Fitzherbert case has just been published in Crime Magazine (US). Here is the link:

DNA Evidence on Trial: The Curious Case of the Palmist and the “Catwoman”

http://www.crimemagazine.com/

Great article! Amazing that the bloodied shoes were not tested in any way!!
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