Saturday, 6 October 2012

Man who tried feeding body to pigs not guilty

A Tasmanian man who admitted trying to feed the body of a murdered man to pigs has been found not guilty of being an accessory after murder.

Thomas Rundle Mead, 38, of Beulah has spent the past nine months in prison after he was arrested in relation to the murder of Neil Harwood on Boxing Day last year.

Peter William Leary is serving a 20-year prison sentence for killing Mr Harwood with a hammer because of unwanted sexual advances.

Mr Mead was charged three days after the murder when he admitted to police that he had helped move the body and suggested to Leary that they feed it to his pigs because they were hungry.

The defence argued that Mr Mead was not trying to help Leary escape punishment.

During the trial, Mr Mead said he suffered a mental illness and helped Leary with the body because he wanted Leary to be his carer.

Mr Mead blamed loneliness and desperation for company for his involvement in the crime.

In his summary, Justice David Porter said to find Mr Mead guilty, the jury needed to be satisfied that he wanted to help Leary escape punishment and it did not matter what his ultimate aim was.

The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict just over an hour after retiring.

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