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Woman fails to overturn conviction for murder of homeless Polish man

Appeal Court directs sentence for Newry killing stands

Belfast High Court

A Newry woman’s bid to have her conviction for the murder of a homeless Polish man – beaten to death and robbed of his last 70p – has been thrown out by the Court of Appeal.

Lindsay White, originally of Mary Street, was one of two people involved in the killing of 40-year-old Marek Muszynski in July 2009

She was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2012, with the court ruling she must serve a minimum of 14 years.

Her co-accused was Adrian Cunningham, who admitted the murder but whose evidence named White as being the instigator.

The 25-year-old, of Lisgullion Park, must serve at least 11 years.

The pair’s victim – whom the original trial judge said had suffered an “horrific attack”  – had been kicked while on the ground. He was dragged along and had his throat stamped on and his partially clothed body was discovered in an alleyway in the city.

Cunningham claimed that it was White who had started the attack, kicking and stamping on the victim – described as “drunk and largely defenceless” – and alleging that his last few coins had been stolen.

At the Court of Appeal this week, White argued that jurors at the original trial had not been warned about the reliability of her co-accused’s evidence.

She alleged the original trial judge did not give an adequate direction on the effect of intoxication on her intent.

Her defence also claimed that Cunningham repeatedly lied about her role in what had happened and alleged the trial judge did not sufficiently caution jurors about the dishonesty of her co-accused.

But these were arguments rejected by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, who told the Court of Appeal he believed sufficient warnings had been given to the jury to direct them in relation to Cunningham’s evidence.

Sir Declan also said the circumstances and facts had not required a direction by the court of how White’s drunkenness had impacted upon intent.

He ruled that there had been nothing about the case that would “satisfy the test of substantial injustice” and dismissed the appeal.

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