Hart pleads not guilty to murder



SYDNEY: (AAP) A MAN has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a four-year-old girl from an Aboriginal community on the Mid North Coast 14 years ago.

The girl's remains were found in bushland on the outskirts of Bowraville in 1991.

A coronial inquest into her death, held in August last year, prompted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to reopen the case.

The inquest also probed the 1991 murder of Clinton Speedy, and the disappearance of Colleen Walker, both aged 16, in 1990.

They were from the same Aboriginal community where the four-year-old had lived.

Jay Thomas Hart, 39, was last month charged with the four-year-old's murder and yesterday pleaded not guilty before Justice Graham Barr in the NSW Supreme Court.

He was ordered to stand trial in Newcastle on November 7.

Hart's bail was continued on the condition he not approach the Bowraville township and inform police if he leaves NSW.

Up to 50 witnesses from the Aboriginal community are expected to give evidence at the four-week murder trial.



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