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VIDEO: Accused baby killer leaves court on bail

UPDATE 6PM: THE Evans Head mother charged with murdering her 16-month old toddler 15 years ago was granted bail in the Lismore Local Court today.

Kate Elizabeth Hutchinson, 43, was last week arrested and charged with the murder of her daughter Leonie Astra Hutchinson, which police will allege occurred between Christmas Day 2000 and February 28, 2001.

Hutchinson's partner and a female family member or friend waved and blew kisses at her from the gallery when police escorted her to the dock under custody at 2pm.

In opposing the bail application, the prosecutor argued "there could not be a more serious matter than the murder of a child."

The defence lawyer said Hutchinson would not be a "flight risk" if bail was granted, as there had "always been a level of co-operation from her client" during coronial inquests and police investigations dating back to 2004, when police first became aware of Leonie's disappearance and launched an investigation.

She said Hutchinson, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, depressive anxiety and paranoia, had lived in Evans Head since 2007 and established roots in the community including a partner, GP and psychiatrist.

Arguing against the strength of the prosecution's case to have bail granted, Hutchinson's lawyer said the evidence was "highly speculative", citing diary entries the prosecution would argue were 'admissions of guilt'.

The prosecution said the case was "very similar" to that of Keli Lane and was a "strong circumstantial case."

Keli Lane was a former Australian water polo player who was convicted of the 1996 murder of her newborn baby Tegan and sentenced to 18-years prison.

Magistrate Annette Sinclair agreed Hutchinson's case was "alarmingly similar" to that of Keli Lane, but pointed out Lane had been granted bail.

In granting bail, Magistrate Annette Sinclair said Hutchinson "has no criminal history, strong community ties, and the same medical practitioners for a long time."

Magistrate Annette Sinclair said on the balance, the court was satisfied the prosecution's concerns could be addressed by bail conditions, including reporting to the Ballina police station three times per week, remaining at her residence in Evans Head and not applying for a passport.

Under her bail conditions, Ms Hutchinson cannot contact or go near prosecution witnesses or be in the company of children under 13 unless supervised.

The case has been adjourned to the Tamworth Local Court on May 24.
 

 

UPDATE 3PM:  An Evans Head woman, accused of killing her daughter, has been released on conditional bail.

Kate Hutchinson has been released on conditional bail.

The case has been adjourned until May 24 in Tamworth.

Conditional bail includes Ms Hutchinson is not allowed to be around children under 13 without supervision and she must report to the police station three times a week.

Supporters of Kate Hutchinson leave Lismore Court as her case was adjourned until 2pm today.
Supporters of Kate Hutchinson leave Lismore Court as her case was adjourned until 2pm today. Leah White

 

1PM: An Evans Head woman charged with the murder of her baby girl 15 years ago will face Lismore Town Court today at 2pm.

Police allege between Christmas Day in 2000 and February 28, 2001, Kate Elizabeth Hutchinson murdered her baby daughter Leonie Astra Hutchinson at Scone.

Baby murder arrest
Baby murder arrest

 

INITIAL: THE next chapter of a 15-year murder mystery involving a baby girl and a Northern Rivers woman will unfold at Lismore today.

A 43-year-old Evans Head woman will appear in Lismore Local Court today over the death of her baby daughter 15 years ago.

Police allege between Christmas Day in 2000 and February 28, 2001, Kate Elizabeth Hutchinson murdered her baby daughter Leonie Astra Hutchinson at Scone.

Ms Hutchinson was arrested at Evans Head last Wednesday.

The Northern Star will have a reporter at the Courthouse today and will have a report as soon as it comes.

Topics:  court, disappearance, editors picks, murder



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