May 24, 2012
A Canberra mother-of-two allegedly helped clean up after a murder on the Gold Coast and made partial admissions about her role in the crime to police, a court has heard.
Nerida Williams, 35, is set to face a murder charge in Queensland after the ACT Magistrates Court ordered her extradition.
The court heard Williams was the daughter of Terry Williams, a former chairman of the ACT's Indigenous Elected Body.
It also heard she had two young children with intellectual disabilities who had never been separated from her.
Queensland police allege Williams and her de facto partner seriously assaulted their friend, 30-year-old Coombabah man Adam Lange, in late April. Mr Lange later died in hospital from his injuries.
The court heard Williams's partner was taken into custody accused of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm but the charge was later upgraded to murder.
Williams was also taken into custody and interviewed by police but left Queensland on the day she was released, returning to Canberra to be with her family.
She was arrested at her parents' house in Kaleen on Wednesday.
Defence lawyer Michael Lalor sought bail for the short period before her extradition today.
Under the territory's bail laws, a person accused of murder can only be granted bail if a court is satisfied ''special and exceptional circumstances'' exist.
Mr Lalor argued that there was no presumption against bail because his client had not formally been charged with murder yet.
He said Williams had two children - a son who had an intellectual disability, and daughter who had autism - and had never been separated from them before.
She hoped to organise care for them while she was away.
He said his client had the support of her family, including her father, who was of excellent character and was willing to offer a $4000 surety.
She had also been cooperative with police and undergone forensic procedures.
But prosecutor Sam McLaughlin argued Williams posed an unacceptable flight risk.
He said she had departed Queensland on the same day she was released after her police interview and there was significant evidence against the woman and she had told police she kicked the alleged murder victim in the head and helped clean up afterwards.
Mr McLaughlin argued there was a presumption against bail and there were no special circumstances in Williams's favour.
Magistrate Peter Morrison found Williams should be treated as someone facing a murder charge and could only be released on special and exceptional circumstances. He said Williams was fortunate to have the support of her family in court and noted her family would be able to help care for her children.
Colonel Morrison refused bail and ordered Williams to be taken to the Gold Coast in the company of two Queensland police officers.
She is expected to travel to Queensland today and will face the Gold Coast Magistrates Court tomorrow.