28 Nov 2012

Australian first as dead man's conviction quashed

10:21 pm on 28 November 2012

A man convicted of murder has become the first person in Australia to be posthumously acquitted.

Fred McDermott was found guilty of murdering Harry Lavers in the New South Wales town of Grenfell in 1936.

He was first sentenced to death but that was commuted to life in jail, the ABC reports.

After Supreme and High Court appeals and a 1952 Royal Commission he was released, but his conviction was never officially quashed.

Mr McDermott died in 1977 but his family has been fighting to clear his name.

The Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday said there had been a miscarriage of justice and that the conviction should be quashed.