SA cold case killer appeals conviction

·1-min read

A man found guilty over a cold-case murder in Adelaide has launched an appeal against his conviction.

Matthew Donald Tilley was arrested in Victoria in 2019 after a DNA match from a discarded coffee cup linked him to the killing of Suzanne Poll in 1993.

After being found guilty of the murder, Tilley was jailed for a minimum of 26 years.

He appeared before SA's Court of Appeal on Monday, challenging his conviction, on the basis of the directions given to the jury by the trial judge.

The court was told the prosecution should also have been required to provide a connection between Tilley and the victim beyond the DNA evidence.

Mrs Poll, 36, was found in a pool of blood in the rear of a stationery store where she worked.

She had suffered at least 18 stab wounds, including some that went right through her body.

At the start of Tilley's trial in November last year, prosecutor Carmen Matteo said improvements in DNA techniques ultimately resulted in the 49-year-old's arrest.

She said a DNA profile originally extracted from a man's blood at the murder scene returned a familial match with Tilley's brother in late 2017.

That led detectives to travel to Victoria to question the accused and after noticing him discard a disposable coffee cup, they retrieved it and brought it back to Adelaide for testing, ultimately securing the DNA match.

During sentencing submissions, Tilley maintained his innocence.

But trial judge David Peek said his denials were knowingly false.

"You fled the scene and have been successful in evading police detection for many years," Justice Peek said.