Notorious wife killer John Chardon is attempting to get his manslaughter conviction quashed using a similar defence to the one that saw George Pell go free.
Notorious wife killer John Chardon is attempting to get his manslaughter conviction quashed using a similar defence to the one that saw George Pell go free.

Infamous wife killer uses Pell case at appeal

CONVICTED wife killer John Chardon has relied on similarities in acquitted Cardinal George Pell's court case during an appeal against his conviction and sentence for the manslaughter of his wife Novy.

Lawyers for Chardon have lodged appeals against the manslaughter conviction reached by a Supreme Court jury and against the 15-year jail term handed to the Gold Coast millionaire last year.

Chardon was sentenced to 15 years' jail in September for the manslaughter of his 34-year-old wife Novy.

The mother-of-two disappeared from their Upper Coomera mansion on the night of February 6, 2013 and her body has never been found.

In the Court of Appeal today, defence barrister Tony Glynn QC pointed appeal judges to a number of statements from witnesses who claimed to have seen Novy in the days after the prosecution say she was killed.

John Chardon being taken to the watch-house is Brisbane after his arrest. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
John Chardon being taken to the watch-house is Brisbane after his arrest. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

During Charon's trial, the prosecution case was that Novy was killed on the night of February 6, 2013 or in the early hours of February 7.

"The defence position was she did not die at that time nor did she die at the hands of the appellant if in fact she is dead," Mr Glynn told the Court of Appeal today.

"The appellant's submission is that if Mrs Chardon is dead, she did not die as asserted by the Crown and was alive after that particular time.

"This, it is submitted, is not a mere theory of possibility but is a fact established by the observations of a number of witnesses whose evidence was largely unchallenged by the prosecution."

He highlighted the evidence of a number of witnesses who say the saw Novy in the days after the prosecution argued she died including one man who said he saw her at the beach, another couple who said they spotted her on the side of a highway and another who claimed to have seen her at a skate park in the family car.

"What you've got on each occasion is a person shortly afterwards observing television footage about the disappearance of this woman where the person immediately appears to identify her and in two cases the person who was with them confirms their observation at the same time," Mr Glynn said.

Gold Coast woman Novy Chardon.
Gold Coast woman Novy Chardon.

The barrister compared the case to the recent High Court acquittal of Cardinal George Pell.

"This argument will be seriously considered of course but it's hardly in the same character as the evidence in Pell," Justice Hugh Fraser said.

"What is in issue about this evidence amongst other things is the witnesses evidence of the dates on which they claim to have seen Mrs Chardon and in Pell the relevant date was fixed in everybody's mind because it was the date of the first mass conducted by the archbishop at the cathedral.

"Pell of course binds us in so far as it makes statements of principal but insofar as looking at it from a factual comparison that you've mentioned it's got nothing to do with this case."

A court drawing of John Chardon. Picture: Richard Gosling
A court drawing of John Chardon. Picture: Richard Gosling

Chardon was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder during the trial late last year.

In sentencing, Justice Ann Lyons said Chardon had shown "no scintilla of remorse" and his lack of respect for his wife and his dishonesty "was truly extraordinary".

Justice Lyons found Chardon had constructed a web of lies to cover up his actions on the night Ms Chardon disappeared, then dumped her body.

The court found Chardon had become enraged by a letter from Ms Chardon's divorce lawyer that made it clear he had to move out of the family home.

He believed Ms Chardon would control his access to the children.

Chardon's trial heard a raft of sensational allegations, including that he had attempted to hire a hitman, had numerous affairs and asked his daughter to hide a mysterious box said to contain gun parts and handcuffs.

The appeal decision was reserved.

Originally published as Infamous wife killer uses Pell case at appeal

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