Still Missing Australia - Leisl Smith, 23, Wallarah, NSW, 19 Aug 2012 *arrest in 2019*

Sillybilly

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@Georgeacita has now been verified as a family member of Leisl's. As a VI, they are not required to provide links to what they state as fact about the case. In all other respects, VIs are held to the same Terms of Service as all other members.

Thank you to Georgeacita and to others for being here to discuss Leisl's case as we wait to learn the verdict in this judge-only trial.
 

Sillybilly

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I don't know why it's so difficult to find MSM updates regarding the trial. It could be due to Covid and it being no jury, judge-only with a judge's caseload resulting in the delay.

This March 31 2022 article is the most recent I've come up with:

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NSW murder suspect's mum asked about alibi

The mother of a NSW man accused of murder was secretly recorded saying he asked his parents to say they were visiting him when the alleged victim vanished.

Janet Church was also recorded saying: "I just wish he hadn't lied to us because you know that got us in a lot of trouble."


Such a beautiful girl with a beautiful smile. Leisl has never been located, so hopefully any and all lies will be revealed and ultimately lead to justice for this lovely young lady.
 

Sillybilly

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"There are alternative scenarios that are inconsistent with his guilt and consistent with his innocence," he said.
<rsbm>

With the recent "grave revelations" linked upthread:

The court was also told that another man, who was related to Mr Church, had allegedly admitted to being involved in the disposal of Ms Smith’s body, but police had not been able to confirm the status of their investigation into the claims.

If true, IMO that has to trump those defence suggestions of "alternative scenarios ...".
 

eccsci

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Hi everyone,

It's been a long time and there have been a number of reasons, mostly due to not wanting to compromise the case ( I had to give evidence also). There has also (and continues to be) a gag order in relation to aspects of the evidence and the trial. So if there are gaps and what not, it is most likely due to the media not being allowed to report. There are a number of reasons this was granted and I thank you all for your understanding.

There has much been said in court about Leisl and majority of it not pleasant. I think that is the most unfair thing of all; Leisl not having the ability to speak for herself about what has been said. But, that's what happens in a trial such as this.

The defendant is currently giving evidence and the trial is not expected to run much longer. There needs to be closing arguments and then the judge retires to consider the evidence and decide her verdict.

The benefit to having a judge only trial are numerous but I think the biggest advantage is that Her Honour is required to list each reason as to why she has made her judgement, unlike a jury where this is not required (in Australia at any rate). It will be interesting to hear, I do admit.

It's been a very long process and thanks to all for your patience. I'll keep you updated where I can.
 

drsleuth

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Hi everyone,

It's been a long time and there have been a number of reasons, mostly due to not wanting to compromise the case ( I had to give evidence also). There has also (and continues to be) a gag order in relation to aspects of the evidence and the trial. So if there are gaps and what not, it is most likely due to the media not being allowed to report. There are a number of reasons this was granted and I thank you all for your understanding.

There has much been said in court about Leisl and majority of it not pleasant. I think that is the most unfair thing of all; Leisl not having the ability to speak for herself about what has been said. But, that's what happens in a trial such as this.

The defendant is currently giving evidence and the trial is not expected to run much longer. There needs to be closing arguments and then the judge retires to consider the evidence and decide her verdict.

The benefit to having a judge only trial are numerous but I think the biggest advantage is that Her Honour is required to list each reason as to why she has made her judgement, unlike a jury where this is not required (in Australia at any rate). It will be interesting to hear, I do admit.

It's been a very long process and thanks to all for your patience. I'll keep you updated where I can.
Thankyou for the update eccsci :)

That explains the media blackout & hopefully justice for Leisl x
 

eccsci

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Thanks EdinburghLass. so it seems that there are plenty of shops etc. that may have CCTV cameras. Let's hope that is the case and Police have more information than they've released to the public.

Leisl has a FB page. Her last entry was on 17 August this year. She doesn't seem to be a shy girl.

Steven Hunter
Someone has probably linked it as a sick joke.
 

Georgeacita

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The trial has now ended ... the FB page for information is FIND LEISL SMITH... we now wait for the judge to decide on a verdict... I have been in court each and every day and have heard every word the judge has heard , except for one witness known only as “witness A”... she has clarified, asked questions to verify evidence, kept notes and now has the job to decide a verdict ... the Judge will give a few days notice as to when the verdict will be given... I will post that date as soon as I know it... there has been no media blackout, as channel 9 and 7, and many newspapers have reported some information about the case...
 

cocomod

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Waiting here for the verdict. Here are some recent articles:

A NSW man accused of murdering his lover who went missing in 2012 denies manipulating her phone to make out she was alive.

A NSW horse farrier who denies murdering his lover has told a judge he was bemused at learning his rock solid alibi had disintegrated.

James "Jim" Scott Church said he didn't understand it when his friend revealed he had been away at the time he originally thought Church had come around for dinner.

But Church testified sometime after the revelation, he remembered he had gone to his friend's property but had sat outside in his car for hours unsuccessfully waiting for him to come home.

After being interviewed by police a number of times and then shown CCTV footage, Church admitted giving Ms Smith a lift at Tuggerah railway station on August 19, saying he then dropped her off at Wyong.

Under questioning from prosecutor Kate Ratcliffe, Church denied manipulating Ms Smith's phone after her disappearance to make out she was still alive.

He said he did not retrieve voicemails and texts, including from her worried father, before sending messages to deflect attention from himself.

He also denied using the phone to call his own landline, but agreed he had told police he had received unanswered calls from her after her disappearance.

Before Church told police he had been visiting his friend for dinner on August 19, his parents reported that they had been at their son's place that day.

Ms Ratcliffe referred Church to a covert tape recording when his mother told his sister: "Jim asked us 'could we say we were out there' and we did".
 

cocomod

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drsleuth

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Tiffiny Genders
@tiffgenders
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13m

James Church has been found dead on the eve of learning his fate over the alleged murder of his ex-lover Leisl Smith, who vanished from the Central Coast in 2012. Church faced trial earlier this year and the verdict was to be handed down tomorrow.
@9NewsSyd
Thanks Morrisa, I couldn't find anything when I looked & thought I may have been hearing things !
 

cocomod

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I saw the news in the FB page. I knew everyone here would be on top of it.

Leisl deserved justice. Such a coward. Also, her family deserves to know where she is. I imagine this is just another blow to her family. I am interested in the verdict though
 

sleepinoz

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