Court overturns murder conviction

A MAN who was sentenced to 21 years' jail for the murder of New Town man Michael Williams and grievous bodily harm of his uncle Shayne Waller had his convictions quashed in the Hobart Supreme Court yesterday.

Jamie Peter Smart was found guilty by a jury last year of one count of causing grievous bodily harm and one count of murder when he and Rhys Louis Gardiner, who remains in prison, went to a Hobart public housing estate where it was alleged they punched and stomped on the victim's head during a fight.

It was described by trial judge Justice David Porter as a "senseless killing".

The case against Mr Smart was appealed against on the grounds the trial judge misdirected the jury as to the burden of proof, and did not correct a misrepresentation by the prosecutor during the original trial.

Chief Justice Alan Blow and Justices Helen Wood and Robert Pearce upheld the appeal and ordered the murder charge and sentence be quashed.

They ordered a new trial on a charge of grievous bodily harm start next year.

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