New development after NCA bomber’s death
Despite his conviction, Domenic Perre always maintained he was not the one responsible for the horrific 1994 bombing of the National Crime Authority in Adelaide.
Nearly 30 years after the explosion from a parcel bomb, the 66-year-old was ordered to serve a 37-year prison sentence for the murder of Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen and the attempted murder of lawyer Peter Wallace.
But on Monday, a mere 213 days into that lengthy jail term, Perre, who had applied to appeal the conviction, died in custody.
On Friday, the South Australian Court of Appeal heard the application for appeal would be dismissed, given Perre is no longer around to “clear his name”.
President Mark Livesey said the full court would dismiss Perre’s permission to appeal once an official death certificate had been supplied – a decision agreed upon by both prosecution and defence counsel.
“The Director of Public Prosecution overnight has advised that he takes the view that the court now lacks the jurisdiction to continue the appeal under the Criminal Procedure Act,” Mr Livesey said.
“Technically, it’s not for a single judge to dismiss – the appropriate course will be that the Court of Appeal, in due course, will dismiss the application and may provide some brief reasons.”
A statement from Perre’s family provided after the hearing revealed they would continue the fight to clear his name.
“The Perres have lost a much-loved member of their family who had always maintained his innocence,” a statement provided by the family’s lawyer James Noblett said.
“They have also lost the opportunity to clear his name through the appeal process.
“In the circumstances, consideration is now being given to a petition for mercy.”
In South Australia, a petition for mercy is issued to the state government after all other possible routes of appeal in the courts have been attempted.
Legislation allows a “second or subsequent appeal against conviction by a person convicted on information if the court is satisfied that there is fresh and compelling evidence that should, in the interests of justice, be considered on an appeal”.
The legislation was used in the case of Henry Keogh, who served over 20 years in prison after being convicted of murder.
He was subsequently released after a retrial and awarded a $2.57m payout.
After his conviction in July 2022, Perre fainted in his cell before undergoing heart surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
On Monday, it was revealed Perre had died in the RAH after being rushed there again on April 17.
His death is being investigated as a death in custody and will be the subject of a mandatory coronial inquest.