Convicted cop killer has bid for more time to appeal granted

CONVICTED cop killer Phillip Graham Abell has had his bid for an extension of time to appeal his conviction and subsequent life sentence granted until a barrister who undertakes pro-bono work is enlisted to view his case and determine his appeal prospects.

Abell, 42, was convicted last year and sentenced to life behind bars for murdering Detective Senior Constable Damien Leeding in May 2011, during an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern on the Gold Coast.

He is not eligible to apply for parole for at least the next two decades.

Abell, who appeared via videolink from prison, told the Queensland Court of Appeal on Tuesday he had not been able to contact his legal representatives because he was being housed inside a prison detention unit.

He said he was under the impression Bell Miller Solicitors, who lodged the initial appeal application, were acting on his behalf.

Queensland Court of Appeal president Justice Margaret McMurdo told Abell that Bell Miller had informed the registry that they were not longer acting on his behalf and asked whether he was in a position to proceedwith the hearing.

Abell, who was wearing a green and white prison tracksuit top and sporting a shaved head, told the court he was not because he did not have any access to the legal paperwork provided to him.

"Being in the detention unit means I cannot have contact with my solicitors or it is very difficult to do so," he said.

"I have no access to my property or any paperwork.

"Bell Miller lodged this application and I thought they would follow through with it.

"Obviously they are not and I therefore need to get new legal representation."

Justice McMurdo told Abell the court was mindful he was currently serving a "very, very long sentence" and it was also mindful of not shutting off all his legal avenues as a result of the mix-up.

Justice McMurdo adjourned the matter to a date to be fixed and ordered the case be referred to a barrister on the pro-bono list who will review the matter and decide whether Abell has any prospects of being successful in his appeal.

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