KILLER Anthony Dent’s boast in 2016 of being a violent man who couldn’t be dominated has come back to haunt him.
The three-time murderer savagely beat Anthony O’Grady on March 25, 2014 and left him to die at Wickham Park before sending a text message to a woman saying: “I’m feeling so good I might belt another maggot as its addictive feeling like this”.
But a NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday rejected Dent’s appeal against his conviction, and the boasts before a jury at his 2016 Newcastle trial were brought up against him.
Dent, 56, argued he was convicted and sentenced to jail for 42 years after a miscarriage of justice during the trial, linked to how the Crown described one of his co-accused.
Five people planned to rob Mr O’Grady that night because he was known to carry a large amount of cash and the five, including Dent, needed money to buy drugs including ice.
The jury was told it was Dent who savagely struck Mr O’Grady to the head, stripped his shorts and underpants which were placed in his mouth as a gag, and hog-tied him. Mr O’Grady’s body was found the next morning.
Dent argued in court that a co-accused, RC, kicked Mr O’Grady in the head and it was the kicks that caused Mr O’Grady to die.
In his appeal Dent argued a Crown address in which RC was described as “not a violent man” would have left the jury with the impression RC was unlikely to have been violent with Mr O’Grady, as Dent had described.
Three judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected the argument after considering Dent’s evidence at the trial.
Dent rejected a Crown proposition that RC was “not a violent man” but conceded RC was “not as violent as me, no”.
Questioned about the text message he sent on the morning after Mr O’Grady was killed, Dent agreed that “knocking people out is pretty addictive”.
“Oh well, I have done it a number of times, yes. I believe it can be addictive, yes,” Dent said in front of the jury.
The Court of Criminal Appeal judges rejected the appeal after finding the Crown was “doing no more than directing the jury’s attention to the uncontroversial proposition that on his own evidence the appellant not only made it clear that he was a violent man, but that he was proud of it”.
Dent was a teenager when he murdered two men at Passmore Oval in 1977, only 100 metres from where Mr O’Grady’s body was found.
His earliest release date from jail is 2048.