Central Queensland prisoner Martin Leigh Hyatt is accused of stabbing a fellow inmate in the head.
Central Queensland prisoner Martin Leigh Hyatt is accused of stabbing a fellow inmate in the head. Contributed

Trial for inmate accused of stabbing prisoner in the head

A PRISONER convicted of stabbing another prisoner in the back of the head has won a retrial on appeal.

About 11 months ago, a jury convicted Martin Leigh Hyatt of assaulting Clinton David Williams at the Capricornia Correctional Centre in 2013.

Mr Hyatt was sentenced to 3.3 years in jail and with time served, his parole eligibility date was set for May 21, 2019.

Mr Hyatt asked the Queensland Court of Appeal to quash his conviction and set aside his sentence due to inadequate legal representation.

The Court of Appeal justices on Monday told Mr Hyatt they could not allow an appeal based on a person being unhappy with their barrister but they would allow the appeal on two other grounds.

The first was that Mr Hyatt received an unfair trial because the trial judge failed to warn the jury about the alleged victim's potential credibility.

The appeal court also found that the trial judge made a ruling about Mr Hyatt's criminal past that effectively stopped the defendant from giving the court his version of events for fear his background would be revealed under cross examination.

The Court of Appeal ordered the original conviction be quashed and for Mr Hyatt to face a new trial.

Mr Hyatt represented himself via videolink from prison. - NewsRegional