Murder accused is 'distressed'
The man accused with raping and murdering French student Sophie Collombet is in "relatively good health and spirits" according to his lawyer.PT1M53S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36ced 620 349 April 9, 2014
The lawyer for the man accused of raping and murdering French business student Sophie Collombet says his client is distressed, but otherwise in "good spirits".
The 25-year-old faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, wearing a brown prison-issued t-shirt and tracksuit pants.
His mother and aunt sat in the back row of the public gallery with tears welling in their eyes, but he sat with his back to the court room.
Lawyer Michael Bosscher, who is defending the man accused of killing Sophie Collombet, speaks to journalists outside court. Photo: Marissa Calligeros
It was the first time his relatives had seen the 25-year-old since he was named as a person of interest in the March 27 killing.
But he avoided their gaze, not once looking in their direction.
He did not speak during his court appearance where his defence lawyer Michael Bosscher requested the matter be adjourned.
The suspect leaves Coffs Harbour with Brisbane detectives on Tuesday. Photo: Ten News, via Twitter.
The accused killer was remanded in custody until May 19.
He has been charged with one count each of murder, rape, deprivation of liberty and robbery with actual violence. A person charged with a sexual offence cannot be named under Queensland law until they are committed to stand trial.
Outside court, Mr Bosscher told reporters he had met with his client for an hour before his court appearance.
Slain student Sophie Collombet. Photo: Facebook.
"He's distressed given the circumstances he finds himself in, but otherwise in relatively good health and spirits," Mr Bosscher said.
"He certainly understood our conversation this morning and seems in relatively good spirits given the circumstances."
Mr Bosscher said his client was "clearly anxious about the court proceedings and his future", but was able to hold a conversation "without breaking down into tears".
The man's mother and aunt stood behind Mr Bosscher as he addressed media gathered outside the court, clutching each other for support.
"They're obviously distraught and distressed," Mr Bosscher said of the family.
"Not only because their son is in custody but they have a real and genuine empathy for the victim in this matter and her family."
The accused killer spent the night in the Brisbane Watchhouse after being extradited from New South Wales on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Bosscher, whose firm represented Daniel Morcombe's killer Brett Peter Cowan, said he had not yet received instructions about applying for Supreme Court bail on behalf of his client.
"I have a summary of the evidence, but that's not something I want to discuss publicly," he said.
Police allege Ms Collombet was attacked while walking from the Cultural Centre bus station to her CBD apartment on Quay Street.
The 21-year-old student, who arrived in Brisbane in February last year, was last seen on CCTV footage walking along the riverside boardwalk, past the Kurilpa Bridge, at 8.57pm.
Her body was found in Kurilpa Park in South Brisbane shortly after 6am the following day.