The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the appeal of Roseanne Catt against seven of her nine convictions, leaving it to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, Nick Cowdrey, to decide if she should be retried.
Ms Catt served 10 years after being convicted in 1991. She was released after the NSW Attorney-General, Bob Debus, received fresh evidence and asked for a fresh appeal against her convictions.
Yesterday the court acquitted Ms Catt of possessing a pistol on the basis of fresh evidence that a former NSW detective, Peter Thomas, had told his then business partner, Peter Caesar, "it's common knowledge that I planted a gun on the bitch".
As well, the court quashed Ms Catt's convictions on charges of perjury, assaulting, attempting to poison and soliciting a person to murder her ex-husband Barry Catt, a Taree motor mechanic, leaving open the possibility of a retrial on six of these convictions.
The court upheld Ms Catt's conviction on charges of assaulting and maliciously wounding Mr Catt on the grounds that there was no new evidence to disturb the jury's findings.
Ms Catt's case has always been that she was the victim of a conspiracy between Thomas, her ex-husband and a key prosecution witness, Adrian Newell. The court found that there was "significant fresh evidence available which, if accepted by the jury, would support the conspiracy allegation".
In his judgement, Justice Peter McClellan accepted it was likely that despite being directed to cease his involvement in the case, Thomas "persisted in being so involved for unprofessional and improper reasons" and made "entirely baseless" allegations against Ms Catt.
The court found that there was evidence, if accepted, that could lead to the conclusion that Thomas had applied pressure to eight Crown witnesses at the trial.
Ms Catt is on bail while she waits for Mr Cowdrey to decide if she should be retried.
Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald.