Key murder trial witness admits they lied about evidence in 1999 conviction of Gail Maney

A witness whose evidence played a part in the 1999 conviction of Auckland woman Gail Maney for the murder of Deane Fuller-Sandys has come forward to say they lied. 

The news will be used to help clear Maney's name 30 years after Fuller-Sandys disappeared. 

Auckland man Deane Fuller-Sandys disappeared in 1989 when he was 21.

His body has never been found. 

Ten years later Gail Maney was found guilty for ordering his killing, but now, a secret witness who gave evidence in the murder trial has come forward to say they lied. 

They're the second witness from the trial to do so. 

"This witness has completely retracted their trial evidence they've said what they said at trial was untrue," said investigator Tim McKinnel.

"Not only was Gail not involved in Mr Fuller-Sandys murder, but there was no shooting incident that was recounted at trial," he continued. 

Deane Fuller-Sandys is said to have been shot in a garage in Larnoch Road in Henderson.

In 1999, a decade later, Gail Maney was found guilty of ordering the killing after Fuller-Sandys allegedly broke into her house and stole drugs.  

Stephen Stone was also convicted for carrying out the murder. 

Stone was also found guilty of murdering Leah Stephens who allegedly witnessed Deane Fuller-Sandys being killed and threatened to tell police. 

Now, investigator Tim McKinnel who helped overturn Teina Pora's murder conviction, is looking at Gail Maney's case and says this second witness claims they were pressured to give a false statement by police. 

"The witness has made the suggestion that were threatened in terms of the custody of their child, that if they didn't play ball they would end up in prison themselves, and their life would be made a misery."

It's the same claim another witness in Gail Maney's trial, Tania Wilson, made late last year. 

"The crown case very much leaned heavily on four witnesses, in fact without those four witnesses the case wouldn't exist, two of those witnesses have now retracted their evidence," said McKinnel.

Gail Maney has always maintained her innocence and Tim McKinnel says she is pleased and grateful that a second witness has had the courage to come forward.

McKinnel says with this new information they are now looking at an appeal to the Supreme Court or failing that, an application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. 

Newshub approached police for comment on this story but we haven't received their response yet.



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