Lynch murder: Toowoomba man appealing conviction

A TOOWOOMBA man is appealing his conviction for murdering Gail Lynch as her family remains hopeful her body will one day be recovered.

Ian Phillip Hannaford's lawyers argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal on Thursday that the trial judge erred in his closing address when instructing how the jury could treat a lie and about DNA evidence found on an axe.

Ms Lynch, 55, has not been seen or heard from since leaving her Guy St, Warwick, unit on July 3, 2012.

Despite no finding of her body, a Toowoomba Supreme Court jury last October found Hannaford guilty of Ms Lynch's murder.

Her DNA was found in drops of blood on items in the boot of Hannaford's car, on a towel inside his Rockville unit and on an axe Hannaford had bought the day after Ms Lynch disappeared.

Hannaford's barrister told the appeal court judges on Thursday a suggestion there was blood on the axe could have led the jury to believe there was "a violent disposal" of Ms Lynch's body and wrongly infer intent to murder from it.

"When the argument around the axe was 'it was used to dispose of the body and you may use that in proof of an intention to kill', that evidence is weightier where there is blood on the axe than where there is DNA only on the axe," she said.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury said the jury heard from a forensic expert about the possibility of DNA transferring to the axe if it was wiped with a towel that had Ms Lynch's DNA on it.

"There is no risk the jury would have thought the axe was the murder weapon," she said.

Gail's sister Lyn McMillan attended court with Ms Lynch's son and other family and said the death still haunted her daily.

She now lives on Bribie Island because she could no longer stay in Warwick after what happened to her sister

"He might have a conviction but it's not over until we find the body," she said.

"You look out and think 'it's a cold night' and you wonder where she is, or it's raining and you wonder.

"While he's still breathing it will never be over. We will always be wondering if he will reveal where her body is." - ARM NEWSDESK


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