12 Mar 2015

Tissue smears were Lundy's wife's, court told

5:15 am on 12 March 2015

Smears of central nervous system tissue found on Mark Lundy's shirt belonged to his wife, while blood spots on the same shirt came from his daughter, experts say.

Mark Lundy.

Mark Lundy. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mark Lundy, 56, is accused of murdering his 38-year-old wife, Christine, and seven-year-old daughter, Amber. Their bodies were found in their Palmerston North home on 30 August 2000; the Crown claims Mr Lundy killed his wife for her insurance money and Amber because she saw what he was doing to her mother.

Key points from day 22:

  • American pathologist Allen Gown said tissue on Mr Lundy's polo shirt was "unequivocally" central nervous system tissue.
  • Blood smears found on a window at the Lundy home were 450,000 million times more likely to have come from Mrs Lundy than from someone unrelated and chosen from the population at random, Auckland forensic scientist Susan Vintiner said.
  • Blood found in the home of Glenn Weggery - Mrs Lundy's brother - was not a match to either Mrs Lundy or Amber, Ms Vintiner said.
  • Ms Vintiner DNA tested two smears found on Mr Lundy's polo shirt and found it matched Mrs Lundy.
  • Blood spots on Mr Lundy's shirt matched Amber.
  • Institute of Environmental and Scientific Research forensic scientist Susan Vintiner yesterday told the court she DNA tested two smears found on Mr Lundy's polo shirt - which earlier witnesses have said was brain or spinal cord tissue from the central nervous system. She found it to be 450,000 million times more likely to be from Mrs Lundy than from someone unrelated and chosen at random.

    She also tested blood spots on the shirt which were not visible to the eye but were picked up by tape lifts - whereby sticky tape is applied to a surface to collect anything on it. Those spots were 19 million times more likely to come from Amber than from someone unrelated and chosen at random, Ms Vintiner said.

    Blood smears found on a window at the Lundy home were also 450,000 million times more likely to have come from Mrs Lundy than from someone unrelated and chosen at random, while blood found at the home of Mrs Lundy's brother, Glenn Weggery, was from an unknown female. It did not belong to Mrs Lundy or Amber, she said.

    Also yesterday, Allan Gown, who is medical director and chief pathologist at PhenoPath Laboratories in Seattle, said the matter on Mr Lundy's polo shirt was "unequivocally" central nervous system tissue from the brain or spinal cord.

    "I don't know of any other tissues that would yield that pattern."

    Mr Lundy's retrial, before Justice Simon France and a jury of seven men and five women, is in its fifth week and is expected to go for at least eight.

    *Clarification - For the avoidance of doubt, please note that Radio New Zealand reporter Sharon Lundy is no relation to Mark Lundy.

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