Murderer stays in jail over sexually charged stabbing

MURDERER Andrew Mervyn Sumpton has lost an appeal against his 29-year prison sentence for stabbing to death South Grafton woman Michelle Roberts and torching her corpse.

The Supreme Court in 2014 ruled Sumpton had stabbed Ms Roberts multiple times in the chest, abdomen, upper thighs and genitals before lighting her body on fire in her bedroom in 2012.

She received 24 stab wounds as well as dislodged teeth and a broken nose during the sexually charged attack, an autopsy revealed.

Sumpton hung around the house after the killing, even pretending to help firefighters extinguish the fire in an attempt to conceal his crime.

<< 7 deadly crimes that shocked the Clarence >>

In appealing the decision, he argued there had been a miscarriage of justice and claimed sentencing Justice Peter Hamill had failed to properly advise the jury essential facts of the Crown's case needed to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Court of Criminal Appeal Justices Clifton Hoeben, Peter Hall and Geoffrey Bellew granted the appeal but found it held no merit.

"The evidence that the murder had a sexual motive or connotation of some kind was strong," Justice Hoeben said.

"It included the fact that when the victim's charred remains were found she was naked, except for a pair of underpants which were around her knees, and that of the 24 stab wounds inflicted to her, six were in the upper thigh and peri-vulval region.

"There was evidence that the deceased visited a neighbour's house wearing lace lingerie a short time before she was murdered.

"The evidence established that the applicant and the victim were together in the hours leading up to her death."

The appeal was dismissed.

Sumpton will be eligible for parole in November 2032, after having served 20 years and six months in jail.


<< 7 deadly crimes that shocked the Clarence >>