Tony Gilham was devastated when two of the three appeal judges set his nephew free last month. For almost 20 years, the civil engineer fought tooth and nail to prove that the story Jeffrey Gilham told the court about how his parents and his brother died was a lie. The elation he must have felt when a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to a life in prison and then the shock of his release on appeal only a few weeks ago.
He was convinced that it was Jeffrey himself and not Christopher who murdered his brother and sister-in-law and then silenced his brother by killing him too. And then came the straw that broke the camel's back - four days ago Jeffrey Gillham was finally given access to his $1 million inheritance that included the family home where Tony and his brothers, Stephen, Peter and Richard grew up. He tried desperately to stop it but it was no use, the DPP told him they had withdrawn their attempt to seize it.
He felt so strongly about his nephew's guilt that he signed over his share of his Sunshine Coast home to his best friend Jenny Robb, who he was staying with, while he prepared for another appeal to the High Court. He wanted to make sure he had no assets left if the case went against him and was prepared to bankrupt himself rather than pay his nephew one cent in court costs.
Margaret Cunneen SC who prosecuted Jeffrey Gilham for his parents' murders in 2009 said "I have the utmost respect for him, in the face of the tragic loss of his three beloved family members, Mr Gilham had the strength of character, integrity and decency to apply all his energies towards honouring their lives."
At 4 am yesterday morning, paramedics were called to a house in Sydney south and fought in vain to revive him. He was 60 years old.