Roseanne Beckett awarded $4m by NSW over wrongful imprisonment
Roseanne Beckett, who successfully sued NSW for malicious prosecution, has been awarded more than $4 million after a Supreme Court ordered the state to pay her costs and interest.
Ms Beckett, formally known as Roseanne Catt, was released from jail in 2001 after serving the majority of her 12-year sentence for soliciting the murder of her ex-husband, Barry Catt.
Ms Beckett, whose conviction was quashed in 2005, was awarded more than $2 million in August – a sum that the Supreme Court today increased to $4,091,717.
After the payout was announced in August, Ms Beckett said the case against her was a ‘disgrace’.
“It’s a disgrace that it has gone on as long as it has, and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars,” she said.
Roseanne Beckett after a court appearance last month. (AAP)
A judge found Sergeant Peter Thomas had perverted the course of justice and acted maliciously with regards to Ms Beckett after initially investigating a fire at her Taree business.
Roseanne Beckett leaves the High Court in Canberra, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. (AAP)
Det. Sgt Thomas accused Ms Beckett of arson but later dropped the charge.
Meanwhile, Det. Sgt Thomas found himself facing a number of complaints from Ms Beckett, who claimed he made suggestive remarks to her and was inebriated at the time of the blaze.
As the internal investigation into Det. Sgt Thomas continued, Ms Beckett married local panel beater Barry Catt in 1987 – who had a history of mental illness.
A year later the pair separated, with Ms Beckett taking an AVO out on him.
On August 24, 1989, at 7.30am, Ms Beckett was in her night attire when police came to her house, handcuffed her and began a search.
A pistol was found in the ensuite and the next day Ms Beckett was charged with several offences against Mr Catt, including two counts of solicit to murder.
Ms Beckett has always claimed the gun was planted.
The judge found the evidence against Ms Beckett to be inadequate.