IM this article to a friend!

October 15, 2004

Sixth appeal ends for deaf-mute

From:, Australia - Oct 15, 2004

By Holly Nott
October 15, 2004

DEAF-MUTE Darryl Beamish's sixth appeal against his conviction for the axe murder of a beautiful socialite concluded yesterday with a claim her death was not consistent with the crimes of Perth serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke.

WA's Court of Criminal Appeal has this week been told Cooke - one of Australia's most notorious serial killers and the last man to hang in WA - was the real killer of Jillian Brewer, and Mr Beamish was the second man to be innocently jailed for one of his crimes.

In February 2002, WA appeal judges quashed John Button's conviction for the 1963 murder of his then girlfriend Rosemary Anderson, 17, and recorded Cooke as the teenager's real killer.

This week, much of the emphasis has been on the resemblances between the Brewer murder and Cooke's modus operandi.

The court heard details of similarities between Brewer's attack and four previously unknown cases, where Cooke confessed to breaking into a house in the dead of night and assaulting a young, single woman in her bed before escaping without leaving a trace.

Coupled with new documents casting grave doubts on the confessions of Mr Beamish and the absence of independent, corroborating evidence from police at the time, Tom Percy, QC, said his client's conviction should be set aside.

But Simon Stone, for the respondent, yesterday said Mr Percy had not established the four assaults detailed to the court earlier this week were not known to Mr Beamish's 1964 legal team.

"Forty years ago (Beamish's lawyers) had everything, plus Cooke, and all they had to do if they wanted to find out any information was go down to the crown law department ... and ask," Mr Stone said.

He said the original lawyers had decided how best to run Mr Beamish's appeal, including what evidence to emphasise, and they were better placed to make that decision than a new legal team decades later, faced with missing documents and relying on excerpts of evidence.

He also contended there was a key difference between Cooke's style and the Brewer murder.

"What is a standout feature of the Brewer homicide is the multiple wounds that were inflicted. This is not a Cooke trait," he said.

Ms Brewer was butchered with an axe and a pair of scissors, suffering wounds to her head, neck, breasts, buttocks, abdomen, pubis and thighs.

The appeal has been told Cooke confessed several times to killing Ms Brewer, including moments before was hanged in 1964, but his admissions were discounted as lies at previous appeals.

The justices today reserved their decision until a date to be fixed.


Copyright 2004 News Limited