Jury told witness can still be prosecuted despite immunity

Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974. Contributed
Barbara McCulkin (right) and her daughters Vicky (left) and Leanne (centre) disappeared from their home on January 16, 1974. Contributed

THE McCulkin murder and rape trial jury has asked under what circumstances and how often would the Queensland Attorney-General normally give indemnity from prosecution.

The question relates to evidence that Crown witness Peter Hall has a protection from prosecution guarantee in relation to evidence he gave in the Brisbane Supreme Court relating to the alleged murders of Barbara McCulkin and her daughters Vicki and Leanne in 1974.

"I don't know because there no evidence in the case about that," Justice Peter Applegarth told the jury.

"You only need to consider the evidence in the case."

Justice Applegarth told the jury that if Mr Hall lied while giving evidence at this trial he could still be prosecuted.

The jury started deliberations about noon today in the trial of Garry Reginald 'Shorty' Dubois who has pleaded not guilty to one charge of deprivation of liberty, two of rape and three of murder.

The jury may also consider the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The charges relate to the disappearance of Mrs McCulkin, 34, and her daughters, Vicki, 13, and Leanne, 11, from Highgate Hill 42 years ago.

The Crown alleges that Mr Dubois and 79-year-old Warwick man Vincent O'Dempsey abducted the family and drove them to the bush sometime after 10.30pm on January 16, 1974.

On arrival at the unknown location, Mr O'Dempsey is alleged to have separated Mrs McCulkin from her daughters and strangled her to death.

It was alleged the two men then raped the girls before they were murdered and buried with their mother.

The trial has been running for almost three weeks during which the jury heard evidence from more than 40 witnesses.

Mr O'Dempsey will face trial in May. -ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  editors picks mcculkin trial witness

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