Amanda Quirk.
Amanda Quirk.

Flatmate is facing murder charge

A MAN accused of murdering an Ipswich woman and dumping her body interstate will face a trial in Brisbane.

Christopher James Swan, 37, has faced a committal hearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court this week accused of murdering his housemate, Amanda Quirk.

Ms Quirk, 32, was found dumped near the northern NSW town of Drake on April 8, days after she was reported missing from her Booval home.

It is alleged that Swan murdered her in the Dudleigh Street house, late on March 31, 2010.

A close friend of the deceased, John Rigney, told the court yesterday that Ms Quirk had twice told him she feared for her life while living in the home.

“She was very worried for herself and I’d say – ‘Why don’t you go and see a lady copper and explain to her what’s going on’,” Mr Rigney said.

“She said, if I do that someone will kill me.

“I told her twice, on two occasions, to go and do that.

“She was very worried for her life.

“But I didn’t take any notice of what she was trying to tell me.”

Mr Rigney said Ms Quirk’s housemates would often throw parties and she was told to “stay in her room”.

He said he told Ms Quirk to speak to her psychologist about finding a new rental house but never thought she would be killed.

“I said – people don’t go around killing people.

“I could not see that happening.

“It’s just not right.”

Psychologist Dr Charmaine Daly told the court Ms Quirk was a “quite pleasant young lady” who had felt trapped in her own home.

Dr Daly helped Ms Quirk get on the “priority list” for a new property soon before she was reported missing.

Ms Quirk’s body was found near Drake with multiple broken ribs and bruises but a coroner could not conclude her cause of death.

Swan’s barrister James Godbolt conceded yesterday that there was enough evidence for his client to face a trial on the charge.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum committed Swan to face a murder trial in Brisbane Supreme Court on a date to be fixed.

When asked if he had anything to say in answer to the charge, Swan shook his head.

He has not yet entered a plea.

Swan was remanded in custody.

Rachel Narelle Smith, 38, Aaron James Presgrave, 25, and Michelle Anne Mondientz, 33, were charged with being accessories after the fact to Ms Quirk’s murder.

Barristers for Presgrave, Mondientz and Smith conceded on Thursday that there was enough evidence for their clients to face trial and they were committed to Brisbane Supreme Court.

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