Court appearance for Collombet murder accused

A MAN arrested in Coffs Harbour over the murder of French student Sophie Collombet has appeared in a Brisbane court this week.

Benjamin James Milward, 26, is accused of raping, murdering and robbing Sophie Collombet, whose body was found in Brisbane on March 28, 2014.

Ms Collombet, 21, was on her way home after a university class the previous night when she was attacked in a South Brisbane park.

French student Sophie Collombet.
French student Sophie Collombet.

Coffs Clarence Police arrested Milward while he was walking along a footpath on Harbour Dr shortly before 3pm on April 7, 2014.

He was held in custody at Coffs Harbor Police Station before being extradited to Queensland.

On Monday, five witnesses took the stand at Brisbane Magistrates Court and were cross-examined as part of a committal hearing.

The case has been committed to the Supreme Court.

Two witnesses confirmed they saw Milward inject ice in the morning of March 27, 2014.

Milward's associate, Layne Smith, who had been with Milward when he allegedly injected ice and later shared a bottle of Jim Beam with him, told the court he had seen the accused between 10.30pm and 11pm that night and believed he was still drug affected because he was energetic.

Mr Milward's defence lawyer Michael Bosscher said his client was "very relieved" that the court case was underway and that all of his instructions had indicated it would go to trial, possibly in the first half of next year.



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