Haunted by the ghost of his victim, Apps cries



Anthony Charles Apps is haunted by the man he murdered.

A sentencing hearing at the Supreme Court in Lismore yesterday heard Apps had several times 'felt' Christopher Lamb, the man he has pleaded guilty to murdering with a shotgun near Maclean in 2003, in his jail cell with him.

Reading from a psychiatric report, defence barrister Chris Bruce told the court: "During the past year, when he has been trying to get to sleep, he has had the feeling that Mr Lamb is at the end of his bed staring at him."

Mr Bruce said Apps had told Mr Lamb's ghost he was sorry 'for what happened'.

Mr Bruce conceded there had been no immediate 'trigger' for the murder of Mr Lamb, but said Apps had shown genuine remorse for the killing.

Mr Harrison said the manner of the shooting showed Apps had clearly intended to kill Mr Lamb.

Justice Newman is expected to take some written submissions on the impact of incarceration on Apps before handing down a judgement within a few weeks.

Apps' mother, Robyn Apps, told the court her son broke down in front of her for the first time in years at the weekend, when she asked him how he felt about the murder.

"He said he was really sorry and that he was thinking about writing to Mr and Mrs Lamb. But he said, 'I can only say how sorry I am. What else can I say to them Mum?'," Mrs Apps said.

Crown prosecutor Nicolas Harrison suggested Justice Peter Newman should view this case in the same way he viewed a similar case, where a man shot his wife at close range and in the back of the head.

"You described that ... as a cowardly and brutal act of murder and that's exactly how you should characterise this particular shooting," Mr Harrison said.

Mr Harrison noted earlier psychiatric evidence that suggested the killing may have been triggered by a personality disorder, which could continue to make him a threat for about another 10 years. However, Mr Harrison said minimum sentence requirements for murder meant Apps would be behind bars for more than 10 years ? a point both Mr Bruce and Justice Newman agreed on.



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