Provocation no defence
MURDEROUS ex-lovers and cemetery vandals face much tougher penalties after new laws mean an accused murderer can no longer claim partial provocation as a legal defence. Attorney-General Paul Lucas said there were many serious and sad cases that led to the new laws. Gold Coast man Damian Karl Sebo, 30, had a murder charge downgraded to manslaughter after using the provocation defence to claim his girlfriend, Taryn Jessica Hunt, 16, taunted him about ending their relationship. He bashed her to death with a steering wheel lock in 2005. Meanwhile, people who willfully damage and destroy headstones, cemeteries, places of worship and war memorials now face a maximum seven years’ jail. The amendments also introduce a new offence of interfering with a grave to deal with those occasions where the desecration does not cause physical damage.