A new trial, a new series of complex legal issues

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am

The retrial of Nancy Kissel featured a whole new set of defences which made the second court case a far more complicated affair than her original trial, a police officer who handled the court case said.

Chief Inspector Lawrence Ng Yeung-yin spoke out after a jury found the mother-of-three guilty of murder for a second time in the Court of First Instance yesterday.

In the original trial, Kissel pleaded not guilty to murder. This time she pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The prosecution stuck by its charge of murder.

'Last time, the grounds were self-defence. This time, it was diminished responsibility and provocation, so it was more complicated and involved a lot of expert evidence,' Ng said.

Six years had lapsed since the first trial in 2005, Ng said, and many of the witnesses who had been called by prosecutors in the first trial did not want to testify again in the retrial.

Ng said the case relied on a substantial amount of computer evidence as well as testimony from experts, such as toxicologists and government chemists.

The police were always confident the jury system would measure up to the complex task and Ng said the police were 'very satisfied' with the result of the retrial.

During the retrial, the defence team had raised the issue of why the police had not cautioned Kissel before questioning her at the family home in Parkview on November 6, 2003.

Asked about some of the criticisms of the police handling of the investigation that were made in the trial, Ng maintained officers always conducted their investigations in a professional manner.

Kissel was given the right to a fresh trial when a panel of judges quashed her original conviction, saying the case had been flawed and riven with conflicting evidence.

After the verdict yesterday, Kissel's lawyer Colin Cohen said outside court: 'We regret the verdict ... but in my view, we have had a very fair trial.'