Elizabeth Anne Turner, a 67-year-old mother jailed for attempting to pervert justice and perjury, successfully had her conviction overturned and will have a retrial.
Turner allegedly helped her son buy a yacht to escape the country before his drug smuggling trial in 2015. Bosscher Lawyers is representing Turner in this case.
Turner was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and three counts of perjury in February. She was initially sentenced to four years of jail time with no chance of parole for two years. The Court of Appeal determined there was a miscarriage of justice due to evidence excluded from her trial.
Turner allegedly offered $520,000 surety to help her son, Markis Scott Turner, get bail and afterwards helped him escape by buying him a yacht he sailed to the Philippines. Markis had been arrested in 2011 for allegations of heading a major cocaine importation syndicate.
She allegedly lied so her son could remain in hiding by telling the authorities she believed he had committed suicide. In an affidavit, she said, “I am of the view that (Markis Turner) has committed suicide”.
The Crown accused Turner of making a false statement, knowing her son was still alive and repeated the statement in oral evidence.
Turner claimed she could not have contacted her son as she was at the time on a road trip through Western Australia with her husband and had forgotten to bring her phone.
Turner testified during the trial that she felt the statements she made were true and did not amount to perjury, but the court said it was a fact that Turner assisted her son in buying a yacht that he used to flee and that she used a phone during her trip.
The key issue in the trial was whether Turner’s justifications for the yacht purchase, her denials of knowing about her son’s escape aboard the yacht, and her misleading answer concerning the phone could be believed.
The prosecutor objected to Turner’s lead evidence from her daughter-in-law, Magdalena Turner, saying it was hearsay and inadmissible, to which the trial judge allowed the objection.
Bosscher Lawyers appeared in the Court of Appeal in September of 2021. They successfully argued that the convictions ought to be overturned due to the defence being prevented from presenting certain evidence at the trial.
The excluded evidence was crucial to Turner’s credit, according to the Court of Appeal President Justice Walter Sofronoff, and a guilty verdict depended on the jury’s willingness to dismiss her evidence.
The Court of Appeal granted the appeal unanimously, overturning the four convictions and ordering a retrial.