Cold Case Of Hayley Dodd's Murder Finally Receives Conviction

Lester Mason
January 23, 2018

Hayley Dodd's family are still searching for her body.

Wark, 61, has already flagged considering an appeal after a visibly shaken Justice Lindy Jenkins ruled on Monday that he was guilty of murder but not wilful murder.

She was last seen in 1999 walking along a road near Badgingarra in the Wheatbelt.

In October 2017 the Hayley Dodd murder trial was told a man driving in the Wheatbelt on the day the Mandurah teenager disappeared saw a girl in a vehicle with her palms pressed against the window.

Hayley's mother Margaret was in tears as the verdict was announced.

Justice Jenkins said Wark had a propensity to pick up female hitch-hikers and seriously assault them and there was compelling evidence that Hayley was in a ute Wark had borrowed from his housemate, convicted paedophile John McConnell, in the form of the ankh earring.

Justice Jenkins also found Wark was likely to take an earring as a trophy and deliberately lied to police when he said he had not picked up any hitchhiker.

Wark did not give any evidence but the ABC report a video-recorded interview with police played to the court, showed Wark telling detectives: "I'm not guilty".

His lawyer, Darryl Ryan, argued it was "unrealistic if not impossible" for his client, in the two-hour timeframe that was alleged, to have lured Hayley into his vehicle, murdered her and disposed of her body.

Hayley Dodd
Composite of the earring sketched by Hayley Dodd’s friend and the one found in a car used by Francis Wark

Toni Dodd says closure will only come when Francis John Wark, who was convicted of the teenager's murder today, reveals where he buried her body.

She took into account other suspects, the narrow window of opportunity to commit the crime and the fact that despite extensive searches nothing has been found to connect Wark to Hayley except the earring.

"It is a reasonable inference to draw from the evidence that the accused picked up Ms Dodd in order to sexually assault her and that he killed her in the prosecution of that unlawful objective, without necessarily forming an intention to kill her", she said.

Margaret Dodd campaigned for 18 years to get justice for her daughter and her family, but was too upset after the verdict to comment. "Give us some peace", she said.

"Maybe he will tell us where she is".

Ms Dodd said it had been "horrible" sitting through the seven-week trial past year.

"We had to sit through it to know every detail", she said.

Wark was charged with Dodd's murder in 2015, while he was in jail serving a 12-year sentence for physically and sexually assaulting a 31-year-old woman he'd picked up on a road in north Queensland.

"Try to figure out if there's any clues to where he is and why he did it".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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