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 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
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
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...