Court refuses serial killer’s appeal bid

An appeal by serial killer Peter Norris Dupas over his latest murder conviction for the graveside stabbing of Mersina Halvagis 15 years ago has been rejected.

The result means the state government may now have to pay rewards to several people who came forward with information that led to his conviction.

Dupas, now 59, was first convicted in 2007 of murdering Ms Halvagis, 25, as she tended her grandmother’s grave at Fawkner Cemetery on November 1, 1997. But he was granted a retrial on appeal.

A second jury then found him guilty in November 2010.

He claimed he had been denied justice and that three eyewitnesses who saw him at the cemetery on the day of her murder should have been excluded from his trial.

Seven months since the appeal was heard, Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, Court of Appeal President Chris Maxwell and Justices Geoffrey Nettle, Robert Redlich and Bernard Bongiorno unanimously rejected his arguments on Friday, explaining the result in a 123-page judgment.

Dupas is serving three life sentences without parole for the stabbing murders of Nicole Patterson, Margaret Maher and Ms Halvagis.

He unsuccessfully appealed against the Patterson and Maher convictions.

He is also a suspect in several other unsolved murder cases.

Dupas appeared via video link from prison wearing a green bomber jacket.

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