No freedom for man who killed girlfriend with bread knife

A MAN who brutally murdered his girlfriend with a bread knife in Esk will remain in jail after his appeal was dismissed.

In January 2011 cut the throat of his partner, Kylie Hitchens, in a drunken fight. He fled to northern NSW where he turned himself into police.

Craig was found guilty of murder and jailed for life in 2014. He had been jailed previously for unlawful killing in the Northern Territory.

But Craig claimed to the Court of Appeal his lawyers had not given him correct advice as to whether he could testify during the trial. He said he wanted to take the stand but was told he could not do so.

His trial lawyer Richard William Taylor denied this and said he had explained to Craig if he testified it was likely his previous conviction for killing would emerge.

Craig also appealed on the grounds the trial judge did not properly direct the jury about an allegation of domestic violence against him and that he did not properly direct the jury about potential provocation.

But the Court of Appeal ruled against all of Craig's claims.

Justice Robert Gotterson said the judge had acted correctly and Mr Taylor had given Craig appropriate advice.

"There was then a sound forensic reason for (Craig) not to testify. He was correctly advised about that reason," he said.

"That he did not give evidence in these circumstances did not result in a miscarriage of justice."

The appeal was dismissed. Craig will be eligible to apply for parole after he has served 15 years.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support phone the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.


Topics:  court editors picks esk murder

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