Man jailed over SA cold-case murder

A man found guilty over a cold-case murder in Adelaide has been jailed for at least 26 years.

Matthew Donald Tilley was arrested in Victoria in 2019 after a DNA match from a discarded coffee cup linked him to the killing of Suzanne Poll in 1993.

On Wednesday, he appeared in the SA Supreme Court, where Justice David Peek set the non-parole period.

He had previously imposed the mandatory head sentence of life in prison.

Mrs Poll, 36, was found in a pool of blood in the rear of a stationery store where she worked.

She had suffered at least 18 stab wounds, including some that went right through her body.

At the start of Tilley’s trial in November last year, prosecutor Carmen Matteo said improvements in DNA techniques ultimately resulted in the 49-year-old’s arrest.

She said a DNA profile originally extracted from a man’s blood at the murder scene returned a familial match with Tilley’s brother in late 2017.

That led detectives to travel to Victoria to question the accused and after noticing him discard a disposable coffee cup, they retrieved it and brought it back to Adelaide for testing, ultimately securing the DNA match.

Ms Matteo said an autopsy found Mrs Poll died from massive blood loss following the attack.

The prosecution said she was killed by a man who entered the store close to closing time.

Tilley’s defence lawyer had argued that a key question was whether the evidence had been properly preserved over almost three decades.

At sentencing submissions, the court was told Tilley maintains his innocence despite the jury’s verdict.

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