Boxer fights to overturn murder conviction

·2-min read

A Melbourne boxer who spent 13 years in prison for murder has launched a fresh appeal against his conviction using new evidence from his co-accused.

Khalid Baker was found guilty of the 2005 murder of Albert Snowball, who died in hospital after being pushed through a window and falling 5.4 metres to the ground during a brawl at a Brunswick warehouse party.

There was no CCTV footage or forensic evidence used in the 2008 trial, which instead relied on the evidence of eyewitnesses at the party.

Baker was sentenced to 17 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 12 years, and was released in 2018.

He has always maintained his innocence and launched multiple appeals over the years, including to the High Court, but none were successful.

In a new attempt to overturn his conviction in the Victorian Court of Appeal, Baker's lawyers on Tuesday argued fresh and compelling evidence proved he was nowhere near the brawl.

His barrister Ruth Shann told the court the co-accused, who cannot be named but is referred to as LM, swore in a 2021 affidavit that Baker was "categorically not in the immediate vicinity or area at the time of the incident".

LM was acquitted during the trial, but Ms Shann said witnesses will allege he told them he grabbed Mr Snowball, pushed him and then Mr Snowball accidentally fell out of the window.

Further evidence includes media interviews in 2018 and 2019 where LM said he was the last person who fought with Mr Snowball.

Ms Shann alleged racism was also a factor and said during the 2008 trial LM's barrister had "invited the jury to believe the white witnesses and disbelieve the black witnesses".

She said LM was remorseful about what happened during the trial and has had "deep and crippling feelings of guilt" since Baker was convicted.

In court documents prosecutors said, while the new evidence was fresh, it failed to be compelling and a new appeal would not be in the interests of justice.

They argued LM's evidence was not reliable, it contradicted what he said at the trial and was in contrast to Baker's earlier evidence that he was being held back, nearby, at the top of the stairs.

Justice Phillip Priest said LM's affidavit was deficient of some information and called for Baker's legal team to ask LM to stand before the court as a witness.

The appeal application resumes on Friday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting