Gordon Wood has lost a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the state of NSW despite a judge finding he was prosecuted for the murder of his model girlfriend "without reasonable and probable cause".
The 55-year-old pursued the state for millions of dollars in damages in the NSW Supreme Court, more than six years after he was acquitted of murdering 24-year-old Caroline Byrne.
But Friday's ruling means the former chauffeur to flamboyant stockbroker Rene Rivkin won't receive any compensation and has also been ordered to pay the state's costs.
Mr Wood was found guilty in 2008 of spear-throwing his girlfriend to her death off a cliff at The Gap, a notorious suicide spot in Sydney, on a night in mid-1995.
Justice Elizabeth Fullerton in her judgment on Friday said the prosecutor in his high-profile trial, Mark Tedeschi QC, had prosecuted Mr Wood without reasonable and probable cause.
He failed to make an informed assessment of the credibility of Associate Professor Rod Cross, a physicist who told the jury that Ms Byrne must have been thrown off the cliff.
The physicist's evidence - which formed the basis of the Crown case - was "fundamentally flawed", the judge said.
But despite Mr Tedeschi's "proven misconduct", Ms Fullerton said she couldn't find he knew of the flaws in the Crown case or that he acted maliciously.
Mr Wood served more than three years of his 13-year sentence before his conviction was overturned in 2012, with the NSW Court of Appeal finding suicide couldn't be ruled out as a cause of Ms Byrne's death.
Mr Tedeschi - who quit his role as NSW's most senior prosecutor this year - said during a 2017 hearing that his conduct was "fair and detached" and aimed at serving justice.
He said that during Mr Wood's trial he considered the evidence was "not just a bare case" against Mr Wood but "a very powerful, cogent case" implicating him.
While Assoc Prof Cross "overstepped the mark" in reporting on matters outside his expertise, "his core findings were utterly reliable", the former prosecutor said.
Justice Fullerton in her judgment said Mr Tedeschi's lack of insight "into his impropriety as a prosecutor" reinforced her conclusion that malice wasn't proven.
It was his unerring belief in his own intellectual processes and prowess which dominated his decision to initiate and maintain the proceedings against Mr Wood, the judge said.
Mr Wood didn't attend Friday's judgment, but in a witness statement last year he said the ongoing battle to clear his name continued to take its toll.
He described his years in prison as a "living death" during which he was assaulted by a guard and king hit by a notorious killer.
"Jail must be unbearably difficult even if one is guilty, but as an innocent man it was unimaginable," he said.
Australian Associated Press