Alexis Jeffery
Alexis Jeffery Supplied

Facebook murder conviction overturned, retrial ordered

THE man jailed for murdering young mother Alexis Jeffery has had his conviction thrown out.

A retrial for Robert Ian Trebeck has now been ordered after Queensland's highest court allowed his appeal.

Jurors at Trebeck's trial in Toowoomba in 2016 were told Trebeck met Jeffery on Facebook three weeks before killing her beside Goondiwindi's Macintyre River.

But in February, barrister Saul Holt told Queensland Court of Appeal that jurors received "extraordinarily generic" directions before finding Trebeck guilty.

Trebeck was accused of killing the mother of three by wrapping her jeans around her neck.

Alexis Jeffery. Contributed from Facebook, March 17, 2014.
Alexis Jeffery. Contributed from Facebook, March 17, 2014.

Her jeans were found in a hedge about 150m from where he allegedly dragged Ms Jeffery.

Carl Heaton, representing the public prosecutor, told the appeal court Trebeck's was "a straightforward circumstantial case".

But Mr Holt and fellow barrister Kate Gover said the sentencing judge failed to properly distinguish murder from manslaughter in directions given to jurors.

They argued directions Justice Glenn Martin gave allowed jurors to bypass "a crucial step in the reasoning process" about post-offence conduct.

The appeal argued the jurors were allowed to rely on post-offence conduct as evidence Trebeck had "consciousness of guilt of murder" alone, rather than consciousness of guilt of manslaughter.

The appeal court agreed that murder and manslaughter were not distinguished properly.

After the jury's verdict in November 2016, Justice Martin sentenced Trebeck, then 35, to life in prison.

Ms Jeffery died on March 16, 2014.

She was 24.