Briton changes plea in petrol attack case
Tuesday 14 December 1999
Stephen Rae, 33, from Crieff, Perthshire, was due to be sentenced for the attack in Sydney on Gabriella Mazzali, from Lincolnshire. But he called for a re-trial and for his guilty plea to be overturned. If a new trial is held then Ms Mazzali, 29, who suffered 90 per cent burns in the incident in February 1998, will have to relive her ordeal and give evidence. Ms Mazzali, who now lives in north London, flew to Sydney in October to give evidence against her ex-lover. At the trial the court was told how Rae, a former teacher, broke into Ms Mazzali's flat and set her alight after she broke off their relationship.
Rae agreed a plea-bargain deal in which the prosecution dropped a charge of attempted murder when he pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to murder - an offence with a maximum jail term of 25 years. At the time, she said: "I am absolutely elated by the fact that he has decided to plead guilty because it indicates that he is now accepting responsibility."
But 22 months into the case Rae is claiming he was pressured by his barrister at the time into making the deal. At a court in Sydney yesterday Rae won the right to a hearing before a judge to decide whether the original plea should stand. If he is successful at the hearing, which is being held today, a new trial is likely next year.
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
- 5 Ice Bucket Challenge: US firefighter Tony Grider dies after participating in charity craze near power lines
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...