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New Zealander Lundy guilty of double murder

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image captionMark Lundy has always denied killing his wife and seven-year-old daughter

A New Zealand court has found Mark Lundy guilty for a second time of murdering his wife and daughter.

Lundy was found guilty in 2002 of killing Christine and seven-year-old Amber in 2000, and was jailed for life.

But the conviction was overturned in 2013 by Britain's Privy Council after new evidence emerged.

The jury at the High Court in Wellington unanimously returned a new guilty verdict on Wednesday, and Lundy was sentenced again to life in prison.

New Zealand media reported that Lundy stood open-mouthed in the dock as the verdict was delivered.

His brother, Craig, told reporters the ruling "brings some form of closure" for the family.

"For the past few months we have had to relive the moment we were told a despicable human being took the lives of our much cherished sister-in-law Christine, and our beautiful niece, Amber," the New Zealand Herald quoted him as saying.

Justice Simon France said time already served in prison would be taken into account in Lundy's sentence.

DNA query

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image captionThe two victims were found dead in a house in Palmerston North in 2000

Christine and Amber Lundy were found dead at their home in Palmerston North in August 2000. They had been killed by multiple blows to the head from an axe or tomahawk.

Lundy was accused of staging a burglary to killed them for insurance money. Police believe Amber was killed as she tried to run away after witnessing her mother's murder.

Lundy, who was charged in February 2000, has always denied the murders, saying he was on a business trip in Wellington at the time and with a prostitute that evening.

Following his first conviction, a group of supporters compiled a lengthy dossier questioning the evidence presented in court, including DNA samples found on his shirt which the prosecution said were Mrs Lundy's brain tissue.

The appeal was lodged in Britain because New Zealand did not have a Supreme Court at the time.

The Privy Council ordered a retrial and Lundy released on bail in 2013.

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  • New Zealand

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