Amanda Quirk with her cat Megsy.
Amanda Quirk with her cat Megsy. Contributed

Woman's flatmates to stand trial

THE body of an allegedly murdered Ipswich woman discovered in New South Wales had multiple broken ribs and bruises, a court heard.

The body of Amanda 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.

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

A committal hearing was yesterday told Ms Quirk’s other housemates, Rachel Narelle Smith, 38, and Aaron James Presgrave, 25, allegedly set fire to bags of evidence after the woman’s death.

Presgrave’s former friend, David Hicks, told Ipswich Magistrates Court he was with Presgrave and Smith – who were in a relationship at the time – when they poured petrol over a few bags and set them alight.

Another friend of Presgrave, James Manderson, told the court the couple showed him blood in the boot of Smith’s car and he urged them to call police.

Detective Senior Constable David Neumann gave evidence that Smith spoke about “her flatmate being killed and bashed”.

Ms Quirk’s friend, Michelle Anne Mondientz, 33, is also accused of being an accessory after the fact to her murder.

Forensic pathologist Dr Beng Ong, who conducted the autopsy, told the hearing that Quirk’s body had bruises, several broken ribs, and flail chest (part of the chest wall had detached because of the broken ribs) but it was impossible to pinpoint her cause of death.

Defence barrister James Godbolt pointed out that Quirk’s liver showed her methadone levels were 12mg/kg – much higher than a usually fatal dose.

But the court heard people who use methadone consistently develop a tolerance.

Witnesses told the court Smith had called Ms Quirk “fat and lazy” and that she bullied her.

Barristers for Presgrave, Mondientz and Smith have conceded there is enough evidence for their clients to face trial on a charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.

Presgrave, Mondientz and Smith have been committed to stand trial in Brisbane Supreme Court. The committal hearing into Swan’s charge is expected to end today.



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