Baseball bat murder headed to High Court appeal

A man who was jailed for life over the bashing death of his girlfriend's ex-lover has been granted a special leave to appeal his murder conviction in the High Court.

Mark Vincent Dayney, then 35, was found guilty by a jury in December 2021 of the murder of Mark Emanuel Spencer in the Gold Coast suburb of Coomera.

Mr Spencer was attacked in his own home with a baseball bat and tennis racquet in the early hours of October 1, 2014.

The High Court on Tuesday granted Dayney's application for special leave to appeal a decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal that had dismissed his second attempt to overturn his conviction.

The High Court's next step will be to hear the merits of Dayney's appeal at a later date.

A Queensland jury in 2021 heard Dayney's girlfriend was a sex worker who paid for the couple's drug habits and he became enraged when he discovered Mr Spencer attempting to resume his prior relationship with her through an escort booking.

Dayney told his girlfriend to attend Mr Spencer's house and create a distraction while he would break in and steal any money or methamphetamine he could find.

Instead of going through with his part of the plan, Dayney confronted the pair in the living room and hit Mr Spencer before wrestling with him.

The Court of Appeal in 2020 granted Dayney a retrial after he was originally found guilty of murder in 2018.  He had argued the jury was not given the chance to decide whether he acted in self-defence.

Dayney appealed his 2021 retrial conviction of murder in October 2022, on the grounds that the jury was not correctly instructed about his potential to claim self-defence against provoked assault.

The Court of Appeal in April 2023 dismissed Dayney's application, finding that his claim was settled during his first challenge to the murder conviction in 2020.

Dayney's application for special leave to appeal the April 2023 dismissal was granted by the High Court on Tuesday.

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store