Australian Story: Oct 4

This week Australian Story has the conclusion of ‘The Wronged Man’, which explores the case of Andrew Mallard, who was convicted of the murder of Perth jeweller Pamela Lawrence in 1995.

Mallard served twelve years in prison before the combined efforts of a journalist, a politician and a team of high profile lawyers – who took the case all the way to the High Court of Australia – finally saw him exonerated.

Andrew Mallard and his supporters speak out about the circumstances leading up to his wrongful imprisonment and the failure of the justice system that put him there.

In 1995 Andrew Mallard was convicted of the brutal murder of Perth wife and mother, Pamela Lawrence. He served twelve years in prison until the combined efforts of a journalist, an MP and a team of high profile, pro bono lawyers finally saw him exonerated.

Colleen Egan had worked on the case for four years. By then convinced there had been a miscarriage of justice, and desperate in her efforts to find vital fresh evidence, she took a risk in seeking the assistance of Labor backbencher, John Quigley. Quigley had been the WA Police Union’s lawyer for 25 years. In no time, Quigley, with his intimate knowledge of policing practices, made a breakthrough, finding crucial evidence never revealed to the defence.

Mallard’s band of supporters was devastated three years later when, despite this new evidence, a fresh appeal to the WA Supreme Court failed. But they fought on. It would be another two years before Mallard’s conviction was quashed by the High Court amid allegations of police and prosecution misconduct.

For the family of Pamela Lawrence, their devastation over her loss was compounded through all the years of the very public fight to clear the man they believed was her murderer.

Later, during a cold case review, new forensic evidence pointed to another man, now considered most likely to be the real murderer, but the case was further complicated by his suicide in a West Australian prison cell.

On Australian Story, Mallard speaks for the first time describing the circumstances leading up to his wrongful imprisonment and the torment he endured during his incarceration. Including exclusive commentary also from the daughter of Pamela Lawrence and original police interview footage, this edition examines a serious miscarriage of justice for which, to this day, no one has yet been called to account.

It airs 8pm Monday on ABC1.

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