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Hayley Dodd's Killer Found Guilty

Francis John Wark has been found guilty of the murder of teenager Hayley Dodd, almost 20 years after she went missing.

Wark, 61, showed no emotion as Supreme Court Judge Lindy Jenkins announced he had been found not guilty of wilful murder but guilty of the lesser charge of murder, Perthnow has reported.

Hayley’s mother Margaret burst into tears as the verdict was handed down.

Hayley was last seen walking along a road in Badgingarra, near Wark’s home, on July 29, 1999. She was 17 and had been hitchhiking from Dongara to a friend’s farm near Moora.

Prosecutors said Wark lured Hayley into his ute between 11.40am and midday, murdered her and disposed of her body before 1.36pm when he paid an account at Badgingarra roadhouse while riding his motorcycle to Perth.

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Francis John Wark. Photo: The West Australian

Wark’s lawyer Darryl Ryan argued it was possible an ankh-shaped earring, matching a description of the style Hayley was wearing when she went missing, could have been planted by police.

The earring was found inside a seat cover in September 2013 when Wark’s ute, which he had been driving the day Hayley disappeared, was re-examined. A single strand of Hayley’s hair was also found.  

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left: sketch of earring. Right: actual earring found in Wark's ute. Photo: WA Supreme Court

Prosecutors argued the fact the hook on the earring was bent suggested a violent struggle, but there was no DNA recovered from it.

Her body has never been found.

Wark is likely to be sentenced on January 30.

- with WAtoday

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