Amanda Quirk’s mother Ann Lappin and sister Lisa Quirk attend the hearing at Ipswich Court House yesterday.
Amanda Quirk’s mother Ann Lappin and sister Lisa Quirk attend the hearing at Ipswich Court House yesterday. Claudia Baxter

'Too scared to leave her room'

AN IPSWICH woman who was murdered was so scared of her housemates she confined herself to her bedroom, a court has been told.

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

Her former housemate Christopher James Swan, 37, is accused of murdering her in the Dudleigh St house late on March 31.

Michelle Anne Mondientz, 33, Aaron James Presgrave, 25, and Rachel Narelle Smith, 38, have been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Prosecutors will allege the defendants helped clean the crime scene and dispose of Ms Quirk's body.

The four accused face a committal hearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court this week.

Yesterday an acquaintance of Ms Quirk's told the court the deceased told her the night before she was allegedly murdered that "she really didn't want to go home because someone was going to kill her".

Another witness testified she had gone to the Booval house on February 27 to confront Ms Quirk and Smith about "rumours" to be told by Smith: "If Amanda keeps backstabbing, I'm going to end it."

A scenes of crime officer said blood was found in the boot of a car, in Ms Quirk's bedroom, the lounge room, hallway and kitchen.

A rolled-up ball of duct tape was also discovered in Ms Quirk's bedroom.

The court also heard from psychologist Dr Charmaine Daly, who said Ms Quirk had revealed she feared for her safety in the house in the weeks leading up to her death and did not want to leave her room.

"She did feel trapped," Dr Daly said.

"That's where she was safe - in her room."

The psychologist had been helping Ms Quirk find a new home before she was killed.

The court heard Ms Quirk had fallen in with a bad crowd as a teenager and began using cannabis and then speed every day for a decade.

She was eventually set straight by an older man who worked in the mining industry and helped her stop using drugs.

Ms Daly said Ms Quirk had lost a lot of friends as a teen when she admitted she was gay.

She said Ms Quirk was on a disability support pension for drug-induced schizophrenia but presented as a "quite pleasant young lady".

The court heard Ms Quirk, who was prescribed methadone for a prior codeine addiction, had met Smith while at a methadone-dosing clinic.

Smith, her boyfriend and "a mate" then moved into Ms Quirk's rental home.

Ms Quirk's sister Lisa Quirk has attended court this week in support of Amanda wearing a shirt which reads: "In loving memory of Amanda Jane Quirk taken from us 28/06/77 - 31/03/10".

Lisa is no longer expected to be required to give evidence in the Ipswich hearing.

The hearing continues today.



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