Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Henry Keogh's ongoing nightmare.


Henry Keogh at his arraignment yesterday.

Henry Keogh has just been charged with murder.  Again.  He was first charged in 1994 after the death of his fiancée Anna-Jane Cheney.  Henry was found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in prison in 1995.  The conviction was overturned on December 19th 2014.

The overturning of the conviction was hard fought.  Henry’s legal team first lodged a petition in 2002, with the primary issue revolving around the autopsy.  Henry’s legal team presented material that the chief forensic pathologist, Colin Manock, had misinterpreted the autopsy, and thus presented incorrect evidence at the trial.  A 2007 appeal was dismissed, but a fourth appeal to the Governor of South Australia finally produce a result.

Anna-Jane Cheney

Henry’s case was picked up by Channel 9, with a story on Sixty Minutes in 2011.
Anna-Jane died in the bath, and thus the case became known as the “Body in the Bath” case in the media.

The crucial evidence presented during the trial was four bruises found by Colin Manock on Anna-Jane’s calf.  Manock testified at the time that the bruises happened peri-mortem, that is during death. The prosecution insisted that these were proof that the accused held Anna-Jane under the water: “If those four bruises on her lower left leg were inflicted at the same time, and that time was just before she died in the bath, there is no other explanation for them, other than a grip. If it was a grip, it must have been the grip of the accused. If it was the grip of the accused, it must have been part of the act of murder.”

Manock also proprosed a method of drowning which would have been impossible – the bath was against a wall, preventing his theory from being possible.  The attacker would have been standing in a wall.  Other experts testified that they believed the method of death to be accidental.

However, the prosecution also had evidence of a motive.  Henry had taken out five life insurance policies on Anna-Jane.  Henry, however, had an explanation for this: he had begun working as an insurance agent because he feared he was about to be laid off from his job at the State Bank.  To keep his licence current with the agencies, he took out policies in Anna-Jane’s name.  The problem was he got her to sign two of them, but he signed the others in her name.

Further issues with Henry’s character were discovered when it was revealed that he had been cheating on Anna-Jane.  With two other women.

However dodgy financial practices and philandering do not make you a murderer.  Many legal experts have voiced opinions in Henry’s favour.

Henry has been arraigned yet again to stand trial for the murder of Anna-Jane.  I’ll keep you posted.

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