IN DEPTH

Francis John Wark sentenced to 18 years prison for manslaughter of Mandurah's Hayley Dodd

SEEKING CLOSURE: Missing Mandurah teenager Hayley Dodd's body has never been found. Photo: Supplied.
SEEKING CLOSURE: Missing Mandurah teenager Hayley Dodd's body has never been found. Photo: Supplied.

Francis John Wark, a convicted rapist who was accused of murdering missing Mandurah teenager Hayley Dodd in 1999, was found not-guilty of her murder but guilty of manslaughter after a second trial at the Perth Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall on April 13 sentenced Wark to 18 years in jail - six years longer than the previous record manslaughter sentence in WA.

Hayley's body has never been found.

The Timeline

July 22, 1999

  • Hayley was travelling from Mandurah to Dongara. Hayley and a friend had been working in Dongara with a local shearing team prior to her disappearance.

July 29, 1999

  • Hayley left Dongara to visit a farm past Badgingarra where a family friend worked.
  • Hayley made a phone call from the Badgingarra roadhouse telephone box.
  • Hayley took a lift from a passing car as she travelled by foot along North West Road.
  • At around 11 am, Hayley was dropped off by the car at the corner of North West and Winjardie road.
  • Over 10 eye-witnesses claim to have seen Hayley walking along North West Road, with the last witness saying they saw her about 5km east of Badgingarra road.
  • When she was last seen, Hayley was crouched by the side of Badgingarra road rummaging through her bag.

July 30, 1999

  • Hayley's family report her as a missing person
LONG WAIT: Margaret Dodd has called for Wark to tell her family where her daughter Hayley's body is located. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

LONG WAIT: Margaret Dodd has called for Wark to tell her family where her daughter Hayley's body is located. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

August 2, 1999

  • A friend of Hayley's provides a detailed sketch of an earring she had seen Hayley wearing in the hope it would assist the investigation.

December, 2000

  • Police investigate reports from a hitchhiker who said two men attempted to coax him into their car. This incident took place six days before Hayley's disappearance.

July, 2004

  • Police announce that they intend to interview two rouseabouts about Hayley's disappearance after they were overheard talking about the details of Hayley's murder in a hotel in Jurien bay. Police later ruled out the men as suspects.
  • Margaret Dodd calls for police to review her daughter's case.
VERDICT: Convicted rapist Francis John Wark was acquitted of Hayley Dodd's murder but convicted of manslaughter. He has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Photo: supplied.

VERDICT: Convicted rapist Francis John Wark was acquitted of Hayley Dodd's murder but convicted of manslaughter. He has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Photo: supplied.

2013

  • A cold case review led to the investigation of Francis John Wark, a Badgingarra local who owned a property close to where Hayley disappeared.
  • As part of the investigation police re-examined the ute driven by Wark on the day Hayley disappeared and found an earring inside a seat cover that matched the sketch drawn by a friend of Hayley in August 1999.
  • Police also find hair in Wark's car that is deemed to "very likely" belong to Hayley.
  • Wark denies the allegations.

2015

  • Wark is serving a prison sentence for the violent sexual assault of a woman, whom he abducted by car as she walked along a desolate road in 2007.
  • He is charged with the murder of Hayley Dodd while in prison.

2018

  • Wark is found guilty of the murder of Hayley Dodd in the WA Supreme Court. He is sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 21 years to be served.

2020

  • Wark appeals his conviction and has it quashed by the WA Court of Appeals in February. He will face a retrial.

2021

  • The case goes to a re-trial which lasts six weeks. Wark is acquitted by a jury of murdering Hayley but found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall jails Francis John Wark for 18 years - six years longer than the previous record for a manslaughter sentence in WA.