Lane appeals murder conviction

Keli Lane is appealing her conviction for murdering her baby.Former Australian water polo representative Keli Lane has formally lodged an appeal against her conviction for the 1996 murder of her baby daughter, Tegan.

And Lane is now set to make an application to be released on bail pending the appeal hearing.

Lane was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury in December 2010 after a four-month trial – a decision which has caused considerable debate within the legal fraternity and the wider community.

Tegan’s body was never found and therefore no cause of death was ever determined.

On Friday Ms Lane’s solicitor, Ben Archbold, formally lodged eight grounds of appeal.

This included the argument that the trial judge, Justice Anthony Whealy, should have instructed the jury that manslaughter and infanticide were alternative charges to consider when deciding on their verdict.

Lane’s defence team, which Mr Archbold said would be led by defence barrister Winston Terracini SC, will also argue that the Crown Prosecutor in the case, Mark Tedeschi, QC, reversed the onus of proof in his closing address by positing a series of questions that he said the defence had to answer.

In criminal trials the prosecution must prove a person’s guilt, rather than the defence proving their innocence.

“Keli’s confident because she hasn’t done anything wrong,” Mr Archbold said.

“She really does maintain her innocence. It’s been a long fight and she’s looking forward to her appeal and she’s excited by it.”

He said the defence team would also lodge an application for bail which they expected to be heard early next year.

“We believe that the grounds of appeal warrant her being on the outside. It’s going to be a lengthy appeal … a person shouldn’t remain languishing in custody.

“There’s been no baby found, there’s been no cause of death – nothing can be ruled out.”

The developments come after the trial’s presiding judge, retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy, QC, revealed to Fairfax he did not personally believe the Crown had proved its case against Lane, and he was unconvinced of her guilt.

Lane, the trial heard, had multiple secret pregnancies in the 1990s, two ending in termination and two in adoption. Tegan was born at Auburn hospital on September 12, 1996, and within hours of her discharge two days later, Lane appeared at a friend’s wedding without the infant. The child has not been seen since.

Among the points to be argued on the appeal is that the guilty verdict was unsafe, as it cannot be supported by the evidence.

In documents seen by Fairfax Media, it is submitted that the body of Tegan Lane – if she is dead – has never been discovered, or located, meaning that the Crown cannot point to any deliberate act done by Lane to cause her death.

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She says, he says: Nissan GT-R

How much? $170,800 plus on-road and dealer costs

Vital statistics: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6; 404kW/628Nm; 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission; 11.7L/100km and 278g/km CO2

She: I’ve always admired this beast from afar – it cuts a mean Stormtrooper-tough figure on the road, and the designer in me loves those uncompromising, wind-tunnel-derived angles. I spent most of my driving time in awe of the power, and that mechanical whine. Are you as enamoured of Godzilla as I am?

He: I’m not falling over myself to the same extent. But it is a reasonably impressive beast. Beast being the operative word. I agree it looks the part with a menacing demeanour. But it’s the figures and ability that get me drooling more – 404kW, four-wheel-drive and some incredible engineering to make it all work.

She: So true – it wouldn’t be such a “hook in and hold on” power ride without some serious tech under the bonnet. But unlike other performance car manufacturers who sink plenty of time into safeguarding the driver from overzealous out-of-control moments, the GT-R has been known to chew up and spit its drivers, especially on the track. I found the stability control and other interventions fairly harsh and grindy for a $170k vehicle.

He: Yeah they can get aggressive, but that’s because they have to. Even a quick stab of the throttle builds some serious pace, which means you arrive at the next bend carrying genuine speed. At no point does the GT-R feel undernourished when it comes to acceleration. But I do get a bit tired of the performance claims – 2.8 seconds to 100km/h. We couldn’t get close even when using every megabyte of software.

She: Yes, the launch figures are a far cry from our track times. But as a mere mortal pilot, I really like the way this car focuses on driver ergonomics. The whole wheel and instrument bank is adjustable, which really works for shorties like moi, and the paddles are in the perfect spot, with leather edging making them some of the sleekest flippers around. Then again there’s that seat, with its barely upholstered rods pincering each thigh into place. That took a bit of getting used to.

He: Performance aside, one thing I love with the GT-R is that brilliant data centre with all sorts of funky stuff – G-forces, pedal positions and the temperature of just about every component on the car. It gives it a hint of race car feel and brings a bit of PlayStation to the car.

She: I love the instrumentation and the way the graphics mirror the nature of the car. And how is that Bose sound system? The awesome audio is standard for Australia. I also wouldn’t mind the fancier leather offered as an option overseas. I’d also option some legroom in the back if I could.

He: Yeah comfort and practicality are not a GT-R’s forte. My biggest issue is how it behaves on the road. Sure, they’ve made the suspension more compliant, but it’s still very firm and is accompanied by plenty of tyre roar. The gearbox is also a race track special – it blasts through the gears brilliantly when you’re flipping the paddles but is pretty dopey if you stick it in D for drive.

She: It’s a bone-rattling kidney-smasher on unkempt roads and a noisy ride on the highway at speed – perhaps the Bose is there to sweeten that deal. Despite a few daily drive concessions like the reversing camera (which you absolutely need to park this thing), it’s really a car for special occasions and track play. Otherwise it’s a lot of cash for a car that subjects its passengers to a relentlessly loud, bashy drive. Does it tempt you?

He: If I had a (really) big garage and plenty of cash a GT-R would be on my wish list. But I’d struggle to live with it day to day.

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Quick spin: Peugeot 208 Allure Sport

The car: Peugeot 208 Allure Sport

From: $26,490 plus on-road and dealer costs

Vitals: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo; 115kW/240Nm; 6-sp manual; FWD; 5.8L/100km and 135g/km CO2.

What is it?

Peugeot’s range-topping 208 city hatch model with a performance bent thanks to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

What does it say about me?

I’m still loyal to the brand despite the problems I may have had with my fickle old 207.

What doesn’t it say about me?

That I value reliability over style and panache.

Who else is buying it?

Previous Peugeot buyers (they’re a loyal, forgiving bunch) but also younger types who like a bit of style and technology. There will be plenty who are sold on it as soon as they sit in it.

What colours does it come in?

The most eye-catching are a blue, a bright red and a cherry cola-style hue known as black red. We would have that one.

If it were a star, who would it be?

Audrey Tautou, the star of French film Amelie. She’s cute, delightfully playful and a bit cheeky.

Why would I buy it?

Because you like the look of the standard five-door version, but the combination of automatic gearbox and non-turbo engine is just too slow for you.

Does it cost too much?

Probably. The fact it is pretty close to the same money as the Volkswagen Polo GTI – which is a more powerful and more focused hot-hatch – means there’s not a whole heap of room above it for the 208 GTI.

Will I get a deal?

Nope. It’s brand-spanking new, and they aren’t likely to be selling them in bulk. Peugeot does have fixed-price servicing on this car, so don’t let the salesperson make you think they are giving you a good deal by lining that up for you.

Any gadgets I can brag about?

The big seven-inch touch-screen media system, which takes the place of the humble CD player and replaces it with an interface for Bluetooth or USB audio players. Stupidly, though, the high-res screen isn’t used as a reversing-camera monitor. It should be, because rear vision is terrible in this thing.

Will it let me down?

Some French cars have a history of problems with electrics, and this one’s high-tech digital media system does push the boundaries a bit.

Is it safe?

Mostly. It has six airbags, reversing sensors and stability control, but misses out on the seemingly simple addition of a reversing camera.

Will it get me noticed?

We certainly got a few glances – probably because not many people have seen a 208 on the road before. But it’s not quite as eye-catching as, say, the Citroen DS3 D-Sport.

Will I get carjacked in it?

Carjackers don’t generally go for a pretty little French car as a getaway vehicle.

How’s the cabin ambience?

The interior is one of the best in its class, with stylish finishes and a smart dash layout that puts the instrument cluster above the steering wheel, so you look over it rather than through it. It can be noisy inside over coarse chip surfaces, though.

What’s the stereo like?

Rubbish if you like listening to CDs – there’s no disc slot. But overall it was easy to use on most counts.

Does it go?

Sure does. The 1.6-litre turbo engine is the same unit seen in the Citroen DS3 D-Sport, Mini Cooper and BMW 1-Series (albeit in a different state of tune). It’s not a thumper, but it builds speed without fuss and sounds great.

Does it like corners?

Indeed. It holds on nicely through the bends, and Peugeot’s innovative mini steering wheel makes piloting the Pug through them quite simple. Parking’s a cinch, too.

What about bumps?

It’s not the most sophisticated when it comes to dealing with a mid-corner bump, but overall the ride is quite good.

What about service stations?

We saw decent consumption on our 900-kilometre trip to the country. In fact, it did just over 700 kilometres on about 45 litres (averaging 6.5L/100km). But it does have a thirst for premium fuel.

Would you buy one?

No, I’d buy the Citroen DS3 D-Sport. It’s a bit more focused and its appearance lights my fire more than the Pug does.

The spin

“The Peugeot 208 is a true ‘re-generation’ in car design on all levels; architecturally, stylistically, technologically, ergonomically, and environmentally speaking.”

The translation

It’s nothing like the 207, we promise.

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Head to head: Ford Mondeo v Opel Insignia

Ford Mondeo Titanium Wagon: From $48,490 plus on-road and dealer costs; 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel; 120kW/340Nm; six-speed dual-clutch automatic; FWD; 6.2L/100km and 165g/km CO2.

Opel Insignia Select Sports Tourer: From $48,990 plus on-road and dealer costs; 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel; 118kW/350Nm; six-speed automatic; FWD; 6.0L/100km and 157g/km CO2.Value


Slightly cheaper, with standard gear including sunroof, blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning system, radar cruise control, cornering headlights with automatic high-beam, foglights, daytime running lights, body kit, sports suspension, 18-inch wheels, smart key with push-button start, leather trim, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, electric driver’s seat adjustment. Seven airbags. No rear camera.


$500 more. Matches most equipment of Mondeo, but adds bigger 19-inch wheels, sports seats, electric park brake, bi-xenon headlights with cornering function and satellite navigation as standard. Misses out on the high-tech safety warning systems and radar cruise control. No rear camera. No sunroof or smart key, no electric seat adjustment. Six airbags.

Winner: FordInside


An ageing interior but still practical and comfortable. Lots of storage and heaps of space in the rear seat make it a viable family wagon. Huge boot space of 542 litres. Some may find the interior design dull.


A nicer looking interior with a lot more bling at first glance, but the buttons can be confusing and there are some highly reflective surfaces that can reflect sun into the driver’s eyes. Significantly less space in the back seat. Smaller (but still reasonable) 500-litre boot and smallish boot opening.

Winner: FordUnder the bonnet


A great diesel engine with excellent flexibility and a top-notch six-speed dual-clutch auto that hardly ever makes a mistake. Quieter at idle with little vibration through the seat, and isn’t as vocal when the revs rise. Fuel consumption is marginally worse but not enough to sway us to choose the Opel.


A strong engine with linear power delivery that makes for comfortable motoring. Strong pulling power from low in the rev range. Six-speed auto does a good job of choosing gears in most instances. Very good fuel consumption for a family hauler. Can be noisy under heavy throttle and there is some noticeable diesel grumble at idle.

Winner: FordHow it drives


A sporty drive, but more liveable in everyday urban situations than the Opel. It finds the ideal mix of cornering ability and comfort, with superior road-holding and on-road refinement, decent steering feel and a good ride at low speeds despite its 18-inch wheels.


More focused on fun than family. Big wheels and sports suspension mean the ride isn’t great over lumpy sections, and can pitter-patter from side to side. It does offer a commendable experience through corners, though, with the body sitting flat and the steering offering good weight and feel.

Winner: FordStyling


Due for a revamp next year, but to our eye it still looks contemporary enough. Nowhere near as eye-catching as the Opel, though.


A very nice looking station wagon, with smooth lines and sleek finishes. It has been around since 2009 in Europe, but still looks very fresh.

Winner: OpelVerdict


An oldie but a goodie. Still offers excellent value as a family car, and oodles of practicality too.


Newcomer’s good looks and reasonable equipment list aren’t enough to get it across the line against the stalwart Ford.

Winner: Ford

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Star and car: Geoff Lawson

Former Australian fast-bowler Geoff Lawson and his Ford Mondeo.The low-down: A lively paced swing bowler and qualified optometrist from Wagga Wagga, Lawson was once regarded as Australia’s leading quick.

Career Highlights: International debut in 1980-81; 180 test wickets for Australia; part of the 1989 Ashes-winning tour; coach of Pakistan in 2007, leadiing the team to the ICC World Twenty20 final.

Memorable moments: “Bouncing” Geoff Boycott; having his jaw broken by Curtly Ambrose; receiving an Order of Australia in 1990 for services to cricket.

Current gigs: Involved with online coaching site www.centrewicket苏州美睫培训; cricket pundit for Sky Sports and commentator for ABC Radio.

What was your first car?

It was a two-tone pink Holden EK, cost $100. My old man owned a garage and we were able to piece it together and keep it on the road with fencing wire and Paddle Pop sticks, as you do. I had it from the time I was in fifth form in high school until I played Sheffield Shield cricket. When I got into the state cricket squad, Tooheys were our sponsors and I used to put Tooheys stickers all over the rust spots, just to cover them up.

What happened to it in the end?

I took a year off uni to go to England to play league cricket and I left the car with my mates. We did the rego transfer into their name – $4 it cost – and it broke down the next day, never to go again.

What are you driving now?

A European model Ford Mondeo. I was at a race day with my son at a track outside Goulburn and [race driver] Andrew Miedecke was there and we were having a chat. I ended up buying the car from him, even though his dealership was in Port Macquarie. But it’s a good car. It’s got the essentials: a boot big enough to put two or three sets of golf sticks and/or the cricket gear. And I fit in it, which is my major criteria for buying cars. You’ve got to be able to fit in when you’re six-foot-four with a dodgy back.

What’s your ideal car?

I did have a drive of a Rolls Royce last year. We played this charity cricket game in the Barossa, and one of the sponsors drove a couple of them over. He let me drive one from Adelaide Airport up to the Barossa. I think it retailed in Australia for $996,000. It was the most nervous hour-and-a-half drive I’ve ever had, but it was so smooth. You hardly knew you were moving. There was no engine noise, no vibrations from the road. It was like you were floating. It was a superb vehicle to drive. I can see why they cost that much when they drive that well.

What’s your favourite drive?

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town via the Garden Route is especially spectacular. I’ve done it about four times. If you want to stop at a beachside resort town, you can do it. Or if you turn inland you end up in the dry, arid interior within about 10 Ks. Then from 50 Ks out you can see Table Mountain in the background and you just drive straight towards it. It’s quite unique.

Vital statistics

3: the number of years I’ve had my Mondeo.

3: the number of Honda Accords I’ve owned.

Car lover gauge – 2

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