Acquittal for Australian over frenzied parent killings

An Australian civil engineer was Monday acquitted over the frenzied stabbing murder of his parents in 1993, describing his lengthy legal fight as "a horrendous experience".

Jeffrey Gilham was jailed for life in 2009 for killing his mother Helen, 55, and father Steven, 58, at the family's riverfront home in Sydney's south, but always maintained his brother committed the murders.

"This has been a horrendous experience for us. I'm glad today that I've been acquitted of the charges," Gilham, 42, told reporters outside court as he thanked those who had "fought for the truth to be told".

"I am very happy to be going home a free man," he added.

His conviction was overturned in December after the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal found there were serious flaws in the forensic evidence used by the prosecution.

And in a 2-1 judgment on Monday, the court found he should be acquitted and not retried over the killing of his parents, who were repeatedly stabbed and his mother's body set alight.

Their eldest son Christopher, 25, was knifed to death in the same incident.

Jeffrey Gilham always said he never murdered his parents and was provoked to stab his brother 17 times in a fit of rage after finding him standing over their dead bodies holding a lit match.

The father-of-three pleaded guilty in 1995 to the manslaughter of his brother, for which he was given a five-year good behaviour bond.

Gilham was only charged with the killing of his parents in 2006 after 13 years of campaigning by his paternal uncles who believed that he, and not his brother, was responsible. He was convicted in 2008.

During his trial, Gilham was described as a "consummate liar and brilliant actor" and some of his extended family still refuse to believe his story.

"There's a miscarriage of justice that's taken place here," his uncle Tony Gilham said after Monday's decision, adding: "It's not over yet Jeffrey -- I'll fix you."


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