The killer of outback murder victim Peter Falconio has broken his ten-year silence to protest his innocence.

Bradley Murdoch is serving 28 years for shooting the British backpacker and abducting his girlfriend Joanne Lees. The couple had lived together in Hove before going travelling.

Murdoch was convicted after his DNA was found at the scene but he claims the last time he saw Mr Falconio he was alive and that Ms Lees may know what happened to the University of Brighton graduate.

The killer’s claims were made during a phone interview with his lawyer, Andrew Fraser, recorded for the Sunday Night pro gramme on Australia’s Channel 7.

During the phone call Murdoch said: “I might be a bit rough around the edges and all that sort of thing, but, you know, I’m (a) pretty straight up sort of person; I’ve got a heart – I’m a little bit of a gentle giant at times.

“(I) might have knocked a few people around with me knuckles and that sort of thing, but, nah, I never had anything to do with it. I’d say Joanne Lees had something to do with it. What was she up to?”

Murdoch was found guilty by a jury on DNA evidence and the testimony of Ms Lees.

She said Murdoch had waved them down on a remote section of the Stuart Highway, in the Northern Territory, in July 2001.

Mr Falconio is believed to have been shot by Murdoch after he got out of the couple’s van to investigate. The killer bound Ms Lees’ hands, covered her head with a sack and forced her into his truck but she managed to escape. Mr Falconio’s body has never been found.