Louis James Mahony is appealing his conviction for killing Lainie Coldwell.
Louis James Mahony is appealing his conviction for killing Lainie Coldwell.

Killer ex-cop claims evidence should not have been allowed

A FORMER cop who killed his de facto has argued evidence from forensic pathologists was "common sense dressed up as expertise”.

Louis James Mahony was found guilty in Toowoomba Supreme Court of murdering his partner Lainie Coldwell at their home in Charleville.

A jury found he hit Ms Coldwell in the head and fractured her skull but Mahony claimed Ms Coldwell fell from a tree.

On Friday the former police officer appealed the conviction in Queensland Court of Appeal.

Mahony's barrister Saul Holt told the court certain evidence from forensic pathologists was inadmissible because it was not based in expertise.

Mr Holt said the pathologists told the trial it was unlikely, but not impossible, that Ms Coldwell could have fallen from a tree and injured her head but no other parts of her body.

Mr Holt said this evidence was "common sense dressed up as expertise” and should not have been admitted.

He said the pathologists' experience was not enough to qualify as expertise as they did not provide any scientific literature or datasets to back up their claims.

"To simply say 'I have done a lot of something' simply isn't enough,” he said.

"It doesn't meet what we say is the standard (of expert evidence).

"There was no explanation at all on what the literature might say, or any experience beyond the experience of a single forensic pathologist.”

But Court of Appeal president Walter Sofronoff cast doubt on Mr Holt's argument, called it "unreal”.

Mr Holt also argued Mahony was not given procedural fairness as prosecution evidence changed at the trial.

He said before the trial some expert opinion said they could not tell if Ms Coldwell had fallen from the tree or been struck in the head. But at trial they said a fall was less likely.

The court will announce its decision at a future date. -NewsRegional