Vic black widow fails in murder appeal

·2-min read

Femme fatale Robyn Lindholm is serving two murder sentences for the killing of men she claimed to love.

Human error that resulted in evidence wrongly being shared in one of her trials won't change that, Victoria's Court of Appeal has ruled.

Reported to be the ex-girlfriend of slain gangland identity Alphonse Gangitano, exotic dancer-turned-double murderer Lindholm was first jailed for the murder of her lover Wayne Amey in 2013.

She was in a secret relationship with a besotted Mr Amey when she arranged for him, and perhaps another man, to kill her first victim, George Templeton, in 2005.

Lindholm, who once used the stage name "Colette" and worked for strip club pioneer Maxine Fensom, fed Mr Templeton a steak and pepper sauce meal, spiked with sleeping pills, and shots of Greek brandy before visiting a friend for dinner so she'd have an alibi while Mr Amey did her bidding.

She was convicted by a jury as part of a joint criminal enterprise with Mr Amey to kill Mr Templeton.

Mr Templeton's body has never been found but jurors were satisfied he was either murdered at the home he shared with Lindholm or abducted from there and murdered elsewhere.

At trial they were told he may have been shot and possibly dismembered, before his body was dumped in Port Phillip Bay.

Lindholm, now 49, has been described as a seductress who lured men to do her bidding, a femme fatale and a black widow.

In a Court of Appeal challenge, Lindholm's lawyers argued she suffered a substantial miscarriage of justice because evidence that had been ruled admissible was led by the prosecution at her 2018 trial for Mr Templeton's killing.

Through human error a portion of audio from one of 88 phone taps, which should have been redacted, was played to the jury.

The allowed portion of the tape included Mr Amey saying to Lindholm that "burying is very old fashioned".

But an earlier portion, ruled inadmissible, included Mr Amey suggesting that Lindholm had a "guilty conscience".

Jurors were told shortly after that a mistake had occurred and the correct tape was played.

Three judges on Wednesday ruled the error it was not sufficient for granting Lindholm permission to appeal.

"The excluded passage was only a snippet of evidence in a relatively light-hearted conversation," they said.

"We think it likely that it would be forgotten quickly enough by the jury as adding nothing to the substantial body of admissible evidence that constituted the Crown case."

Lindholm was sentenced to 28 years for Mr Templeton's murder, and ordered to serve 14 years of that on top of 25 years she received for Mr Amey's murder.

Of the 39-year maximum, she must serve 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.

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