Murdered boys' mum cries as appeal fails

The mother of three boys who drowned after their father drove them into a Victorian dam has broken down after a court rejected her ex-husband's bid to appeal against his conviction for their murders.

Robert Farquharson, 43, was jailed for life in 2010 after a Victorian Supreme Court jury found him guilty of murdering Jai, 10, Tyler, 7 and Bailey, 2, in September 2005 to get back at his ex-wife Cindy Gambino.

It was the second time he'd been convicted of his sons' murders.

Farquharson appealed against his conviction in May, arguing that a jury should have had the option of convicting him of manslaughter.

Ms Gambino broke down in tears as she was told Farquharson's appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

Her husband, Stephen Moules, smiled as he comforted her.

Outside court, Mr Moules told reporters he only had one thing to say: "We're very, very pleased with the outcome."

Farquharson's lawyers had argued that evidence from a key witness, his friend Greg King, should not have been relied upon because it was inconsistent.

They said the prosecution should have put the theory of killing the boys through negligence, rather than intentionally, as an option for jurors to consider, claiming Farquharson had a respiratory condition that made him a risk on the road.

Court of Appeal President Chris Maxwell and Justices Peter Buchanan and David Harper said it had been open to the jury, on the whole of the evidence, to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of Farquharson's guilt.

They said the defence had not suggested at any stage during Farquharson's two trials that the jury should be directed to consider the alternative charge of manslaughter.

Farquharson was sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of the murders in 2007 but won an appeal and was granted a retrial.

After a second trial in 2010 he was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 33 years.

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