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New trial ordered in N.B. after murder conviction review

By Tara Clow Dec 27, 2023 | 6:50 AM

Canada’s justice minister has ordered a new trial for two men convicted of second-degree murder.

Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie were found guilty of the death of a plumber in Saint John in 1984.

Minister Arif Virani says following an extensive review, it was determined that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred.

“All people living in Canada must have confidence that the justice system is there to protect them and that it can be trusted,” Virani said in a statement.

“A fair justice system must also be compassionate and balance the needs of victims while guarding against potential miscarriages of justice, which is why we have a process in place to review such cases,”

In 1984, Mailman and Gillespie were sentenced to life imprisonment with no eligibility for parole for 18 years. Their appeals to the Court of Appeal for New Brunswick were dismissed on February 10, 1988.

In 1994, Gillespie sought and was denied leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Both are now on parole and out of custody. They submitted their application for criminal conviction review in December 2019.