A Newry woman jailed for murdering a homeless Polish man beaten to death and robbed of his last 70 pence failed on Monday in a bid to overturn her conviction.
The Court of Appeal rejected claims that jurors were not properly warned about the reliability of evidence from 29-year-old Lindsay White’s accomplice in the killing of Marek Muszynski.
Mr Muszynski’s partially undressed body was discovered at an alleyway in the city in July 2009.
The 40-year-old victim had been kicked on the ground, his throat stamped on, and also dragged along rough ground.
He suffered brain injuries, a fractured nose and ribs, and inhalation of blood to the lungs during what the trial judge described as an “horrific attack on a drunk and largely defenceless man”.
CCTV images were said to show his assailants walking away from the scene after looting Mr Muszynki’s pocket.
Adrian Cunningham, 25, from Lisgullion Park, Newry, is serving at least 11 years in jail after admitting the murder.
His evidence was central to the case against White, involving claims that she instigated the attack and helped kick and stamp on the victim.
He also alleged that she had robbed the homeless man of his last few coins.
White, formerly of Mary Street in the city, insisted she was framed by Cunningham - a claim rejected by the jury.
In March 2012 she received a minimum tariff of 14 years on her life sentence for the murder.
White based her appeal against conviction on the trial judge’s alleged failure to give an adequate direction on the effect of intoxication on her intent, and the failure to sufficiently caution about Cunningham’s dishonesty.
Defence lawyers argued that her accomplice lied repeatedly about her role in the attack.
But rejecting that ground, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan held that enough warnings were given for the jury to treat Cunningham’s evidence with particular care.
He also held that the facts and circumstances of the case did not require a direction on how drunkenness impacted on White’s intent.
Throwing out a further point raised about joint enterprise, Sir Declan said: “There is nothing about this case which would satisfy the test of substantial injustice.
He confirmed: “For the reasons given we dismiss the appeal and refuse leave to appeal on the other grounds.”