TORONTO -- The man convicted of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford seven years ago is asking for a new trial, arguing there was too much weight given to the testimony of the "unsavoury" main witness.

Michael Rafferty was convicted in May 2012 of kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder in the death of the Woodstock, Ont., girl.

His former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder, initially telling police Rafferty killed the girl, but testifying at his trial that she delivered the fatal blows.

Rafferty's lawyer, Paul Calarco, argues in documents filed with the Court of Appeal for Ontario that the judge made several errors, including failing to give a "sharp warning" to the jury against relying on McClintic's testimony.

He says the case against Rafferty relied almost entirely on the word of McClintic -- "a person of unsavoury character, with a serious history of violence and lying."

The appeal is set to be heard Oct. 24.