ROSEANNE CATT, who was convicted of attempting to poison her husband after a trial in which Patrick Power was the prosecutor, is asking the Director of Public Prosecutions to review her case.
Mr Power was stood down last week by the director, Nick Cowdery, after being charged with possession of child pornography.
Defence lawyers repeatedly accused Mr Power of unfairness during the Catt trial, in which child abuse and pornography were issues.
Ms Catt served 10 years in jail before her case was reopened in 2001. Last year, the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed seven of her nine convictions.
Ms Catt said yesterday this was the first opportunity for a review of the "behaviour of the Crown" in her case.
"My recent appeal only dealt with fresh evidence, not the incredible unfairness of the trial," she said. "I am sure an independent person would be horrified at how the trial was conducted."
Mr Cowdery is reviewing all cases in which Mr Power has acted so he can address concerns of people, such as Ms Catt, who feel their cases could have been affected.
No finding has yet been made against Mr Power in any matter.
A crucial issue in the Crown case against Ms Catt (now Roseanne Beckett) was the allegation that she manipulated four children into giving false evidence that they were abused.
At the trial, they gave evidence for her that they had been sexually abused and were present while police watched pornographic movies at their home. The children continued to support Ms Catt after she went to prison. However, in 1993, shortly before her appeal, in which Mr Power also acted for the Crown, the children retracted their evidence during interviews with police acting on Mr Power's instructions.
A retired child psychiatrist, Dr Sara Williams, who treated the children and has previously raised concerns at the handling of the abuse allegations with the NSW Royal Commission on the Police, said yesterday she was not surprised the children retracted their evidence. "They could see if you told the truth, you ended up in prison," she said.
Dr Williams said she was writing to the DPP about her concerns.
It was also revealed during the 2002 appeal that a key witness against Ms Catt signed a police statement shortly after resigning as a police liaison officer. This followed reports he was involved in a prostitution racket involving Aboriginal girls in the Mid-North Coast town of Taree. Ms Catt's lawyers were not informed of this significant development during the trial.
Roseanne Catt's defence lawyers also filed evidence with the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2001, alleging that Mr Power had misled the trial court about allegations of corruption against Peter Thomas, the ex-NSW detective who arrested Ms Catt. Thomas's credibility was an important issue in the case.
Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald.