Brenden Bennetts charged with the murder of Jayde Kendall.
Brenden Bennetts charged with the murder of Jayde Kendall.

Jayde Kendall's killer appeals murder conviction

LAWYERS for Queensland schoolgirl killer Brenden Bennetts have appealed his murder conviction, saying unlawfully obtained statements were used in his trial.

Bennetts was last year found guilty by a Brisbane Supreme Court jury of killing 16-year-old Jayde Kendall and dumping her body in a field on the outskirts of Gatton in August 2015.

Defence barrister Michael Copley QC today argued police acted illegally by questioning Bennetts as a "suspect" at the Gatton police station without giving him a warning they were doing so.

The court heard before his formal interview police had already seized Bennetts mobile phone, laptop and car and undertaken DNA swabs, which is usually done when someone is considered a suspect.

Mr Copley argued the trial judge made an error of law by failing to exclude statements where Bennetts had given a false version about Jayde's disappearance.

Brenden Bennetts was found guilty of killing Jayde Kendall and dumping her body near Gatton in August 2015.
Brenden Bennetts was found guilty of killing Jayde Kendall and dumping her body near Gatton in August 2015.

At the time, the judge did not consider the statements had been obtained illegally because she agreed with police that Bennetts was not a suspect, only a person of interest, at the time.

Mr Copley today said police "lied" to the court during the trial, saying they were only questioning Bennetts in an effort to find the girl and at that time they believed he was responsible for her death.

He asked for the conviction to be set aside and a retrial ordered with the interviews in question to be excluded.

Vicki Loury QC said even if the Court of Appeal found the statements and conversations should not have been shown to the jury, there would have been enough evidence to find Bennetts guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

She argued the statements were not taken when Bennetts was considered a suspect but that he was interviewed because he was the last person to see the schoolgirl alive and police hoped he could help "provide direction to the investigation, particularly in relation to locating her".

"There was no evidence (at that time) that an indictable offence had been committed...," Ms Loury said.

"Police were all the way through that period looking for Jayde Kendall."

The Court of Appeal has reserved his decision.



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