AUSTRALIAN SAILOR TO APPEAL MURDER CONVICTION

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Allegedly bashed elderly woman in New Caledonia

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 13, 2009) - A far north Queensland sailor will appeal against his 12 year jail sentence for bashing to death an elderly woman in New Caledonia.

Navy Leading Seaman Matthew Doney, 31, from Cairns, has been sentenced to 12 years jail for the bashing death of Lysiane Mille, 79, at Noumea in December 2006.

On Thursday, Noumea's Criminal High Court heard the sailor broke into the victim's Noumea home while on shore leave from HMAS Melville and bashed her to death after a heavy drinking session.

He was charged with aggravated deadly assault on a "particularly vulnerable person'' and will serve his time at the central penitentiary prison in Noumea.

A Defence Department spokeswoman says Doney's defence team will appeal against the sentence on Thursday.

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