Casino murder case adjourned

THE Crown prosecution case against Noel Keith Gardiner, charged with the murder of his aunt at Casino last September, is still to be finalised with the matter mentioned in Lismore Local Court this week.

Gardiner, who turned 21 two weeks after his alleged involvement in the stabbing death of Elizabeth Phillips at her Albert Street home, sat quietly in the dock as his matter was discussed before Magistrate Robyn Denes.

Gardiner is accused of killing Ms Phillips, a double amputee, some time between 12.15am and 12.40am on September 5.

Defence lawyer Laura Fennell said she had received a copy of Ms Phillips’ autopsy report and needed time to read a bundle of documents forwarded by the Crown.

She said there were likely to be ‘unfitness issues’ regarding her client not ready to go to trial.

The only thing she could say with certainty was there would be no application to call witnesses at a special hearing in what was anticipated to be a short committal.

The Crown prosecutor said DNA evidence had been sent to Sydney, and with regard to the homicide matter an analysis of blood was still out-standing, along with transcripts of a series of triple-0 phone calls.

Ms Fennell said her client intended to make a bail application.

Ms Denes said she would list the matter for another day when the application was formally made.

The magistrate said the court would also need to know where Gardiner intended to live if bail was to be granted.

She said the application could be also made through the Supreme Court in Sydney.

The Crown said it would oppose any bail application.

In a previous hearing last November, a court magistrate ordered the analysis of a knife that was found by police at the scene be ‘fast-tracked’ at the NSW Analytical Laboratories in the murder investigation being led by Detective David Mackie.

The case was adjourned to March.

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