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Esk murderer cut his partner's throat, now wants to appeal

A MAN convicted of brutally cutting his partner's throat during the 2011 floods in Esk has claimed he was not given a chance to tell his side of the story in court.

Ronald Michael Craig was found guilty in 2014 of murdering Kylie Hitchen.

Craig has appealed his conviction, claiming he wanted to give evidence himself at the trial, but his lawyers would not let him.

But his trial lawyer, Richard William Taylor, on Wednesday told the Queensland Court of Appeal that during the trial he urged Craig not to testify, as it could let prosecutors bring up Craig's criminal history - which included a Northern Territory manslaughter conviction.

Craig admitted to the court he had "no chance whatsoever" of being found not guilty if the jury knew about the previous conviction.

"I just wanted to get in the (witness) box," he told the court.

"People don't know what happened.

"I just wanted to help."

Craig's new lawyer, Eoin Mac Giolla Ri, questioned Mr Taylor and said Craig had been given incorrect advice during the trial.

But Mr Taylor said he had informed Craig of his options and advised him the prosecution might be able to bring his conviction for manslaughter into evidence if he testified.

Mr Mac Giolla Ri said Mr Taylor's advice caused Craig to believe giving evidence was not an option.

"For all intents and purposes, he's been told that he can't give evidence," he said.

The court will deliver its judgment at a later date. - ARM NEWSDESK



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