The judge in the trial of Nancy Kissel gave directions to the jury that were 'wholly erroneous' and 'point-blank wrong', effectively preventing jurors from considering her key defence - of acting in self-defence - the Court of Final Appeal was told yesterday. On the second day of Kissel's last chance to overturn her murder conviction in the city's top court, Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang indicated that, at the end of the arguments, he would like to hear submissions regarding the option of a retrial. Kissel's counsel, Gerard McCoy SC, submitted that the trial judge gave wrong, and contradictory, directions to the jury that effectively 'sliced through the entire defence of self- defence'. McCoy spent much of yesterday elaborating on arguments made regarding how she was cross-examined during her trial, and on statements made by third parties during bail proceedings. He also argued that the judge had given misleading directions on the law of self-defence. Kissel, an American mother of three, was convicted of murdering her husband, Merrill Lynch banker Robert Kissel, in September 2005 after a three-month trial. The trial revealed a story of sex, love, friendship, betrayal and ultimately a fatal confrontation in their Parkview home. Kissel admitted her affair with a television repairman in the US state of Vermont, where she took her children during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. On her return to Hong Kong, she drugged her husband with a milkshake laced with sedatives before bludgeoning him to death with a metal ornament. But in her version of events, she described a story of a mutually supportive relationship, while they were struggling in New York, that turned sour under the pressures of expatriate life in Hong Kong, with its emphasis on money and status. When the two came to a confrontation about divorce and custody of the children in November 2003, Robert had in his hand a baseball bat, while Kissel carried a metal ornament. According to Kissel, the last thing she remembered was Robert coming at her with the baseball bat screaming, 'I'm going to kill you, you f****ng b***h'. Those events spawned countless articles, crime documentaries and a book, but yesterday they were the subject of complex legal arguments surrounding the nature of self-defence and the proper conduct of a fair trial. McCoy said that Mr Justice Michael Lunn, who sentenced Kissel, had been wrong to suggest that a person cannot be held to have killed lawfully if acting as an aggressor, or with revenge or retaliation in mind. Such a direction 'creates a narrowing of the portal through which the defendant has to pass before the defence is available', McCoy said. The direction even took on a contradictory element since it was the judge who opened up the possibility of provocation as a defence - a defence that relies on the emotions of anger, revenge and retaliation, he submitted. McCoy is expected to continue with his arguments today before Li, Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary, Mr Justice Patrick Chan Siu-oi, Mr Justice Roberto Ribeiro and Sir Anthony Mason.