Maureen Boyce Murder
Maureen Boyce Murder

Guilty again: Second conviction for socialite’s murder

Retired American doctor Thomas Lang has been found guilty of murdering Brisbane socialite Maureen Boyce.

The Brisbane Supreme Court jury retired to consider its verdict about 12.30pm last Thursday and delivered the verdict today at 2pm.

Justice Ann Lyons has sentenced Lang to life imprisonment.

It's the second time Lang has been convicted of Ms Boyce's murder, after a jury first found him guilty of the crime in 2017.

Last December that conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal after it found there was a "real possibility that irrelevant but misleading evidence was used to convict the defendant" in the first trial.

Thomas Lang has been convicted a second time
Thomas Lang has been convicted a second time

During the appeal, Lang's legal team argued the trial judge in 2017 had erred by admitting evidence of the suicide rates of Australian women into the trial.

The retrial for Lang began in the Brisbane Supreme Court last Monday, and his defence barrister had urged to the jury to find Ms Boyce, who struggled with mental health issues, had committed suicide.

The 68-year-old former model was found dead in her bed at her Kangaroo Point penthouse in October 2015 with a kitchen knife lodged in her abdomen.

During the trial, the jury heard Ms Boyce had been stabbed with the knife, which had a 19cm blade, and a forensic pathologist noted the blade had made five separate "track wounds" in her body, indicating it had likely been removed to a certain degree and reinserted.

Lang and Ms Boyce had a tumultuous relationship which first began 30 years ago when they met in the United States.

Unbeknown to Lang, Ms Boyce ended their relationship and left America to return to Australia while she was pregnant with his child.

He did not learn of his son's existence until 2013 when the pair rekindled their relationship, despite Ms Boyce still being married.

Victim Maureen Boyce
Victim Maureen Boyce

During his closing address to the jury, Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said Lang had been "driven to the edge" when he stabbed Ms Boyce to death after reading her messages which revealed she was communicating with another man.

"This man here who was driven to the edge by her duplicity," Mr Fuller said.

"When I say history repeating itself, he was being betrayed by her for the second time, not the first."

In sentencing Lang to life imprisonment, Justice Lyons described the crime as a "vicious attack".

"They (the jury) were satisfied that… you killed a defenceless woman who was most likely fast asleep in her own bedroom," Justice Lyons said.

"We don't know the full extent of the circumstances of the murder because you lied about those critical events."

Justice Lyons said the sentence reflected society's absolute condemnation of Lang's crime.

When asked if he had anything to say upon verdict, Lang professed his innocence, saying: "I didn't do it."


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