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Amy Emily Annamunthodo

A 47-year-old man, sentenced to hang for brutally torturing and beating his four-year-old stepdaughter to death, is challenging his conviction.

Appellate Judges Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mohammed and Malcolm Holdip reserved their decision in Marlon King’s appeal yesterday after hearing submissions from his lawyers and those for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

In 2012, King was convicted of murdering Amy Emily Annamunthodo at his Ste Madeleine Road, Marabella, home on May 15, 2006.

During the trial before former President and High Court Judge Anthony Carmona, state prosecutors contended that King burned the child with cigarettes, hung her from her hair on a door, and punched her repeatedly.

Presenting submissions on King’s behalf during the virtual hearing, his lawyer Peter Carter claimed that Carmona made errors when summing up the harrowing evidence in the case to the 12-member jury that eventually convicted King.

Carter’s submissions mainly dealt with the evidence of the State’s main witness King’s neighbour, Anthony Rocke, who testified that he saw King punching the child 20 to 30 times while she hung from a cloth tied to her hair and attached to a door ledge. She was clad in underwear and her mouth was gagged, according to him.

During the trial, King claimed that he had left the child with her mother and Rocke and suggested that he (Rocke) was in fact the culprit.

Carter claimed that Carmona did not properly address Rocke’s criminal record and the fact that King claimed that he had a longstanding dispute with him.

Carter also took aim with Carmona’s handling of evidence from King’s ex-wife Lou-Ann Davis, who claimed that she was abused by King and that he would rent out his house to friends to have sex.

Davis’ evidence of the alleged sexual activity in the house was used to explain why the semen of two different men was found on the child’s clothing. Neither sample belonged to King.

Responding to Carter, state prosecutor Travers Sinanan pointed out that Rocke’s evidence was corroborated by medical experts in the case, who examined the child when she was taken to hospital and performed an autopsy on her body.

Medical evidence was led that Amy was burnt with cigarettes on her vagina, inner thigh, and forearm an hour before she died. She suffered multiple internal and external injuries throughout her body, including a broken rib and bruised organs.

“This factor is crucial,” Sinanan said.

Sinanan also noted that during the trial King openly accused Rocke of committing the crime and framing him.

“You cannot get a more direct attack on a person’s credibility than that,” he said.

He also rejected Carter’s complaints over Davis’ evidence as he noted that Carmona had warned the jury not to draw any adverse findings based on it.

“This was a favourable omission for the appellant,” he said.

King is also being represented by public defender Delicia Helwig-Robertson.