"Reasonable suspicion" Tobias is a killer, says judge
A WEST Australian Supreme Court judge has said there are 'reasonable suspicions' Tobias Suckfuell was involved in killing Simone Strobel in Lismore in February 2005.
Justice Kenneth Martin's comments came after his ruling rejecting an injunction, requested by Suckfuell, into the release of Virginia Peters' book, Have You Seen Simone?, was made public on Monday.
Suckfuell, who is now known as Toby Moran after taking his wife Samantha's surname, is reportedly living with her in Perth, where she runs an online clothing and jewellery business.
His former partner's naked body was found covered in palm fronds about 90 metres from where she was staying at the Lismore Central Caravan Park on February 17, 2005.
Justice Martin said while there was no definitive proof of Mr Moran's alleged guilt, the facts of the case made it 'inevitable' he should be a suspect, The West Australian reported.
"There is a significant underlying body of credible factual material, publicly available and widely ventilated since 2007, which clearly does, at least assessed at the prima facie level, manifest some reasonable grounds for suspicion as regards this plaintiff in the 2005 crime," he wrote.
"None of that factual material is of itself conclusive in terms of establishing the plaintiff's guilt.
"But if coupled particularly with the proximity of Simone's discovered body, within 90m of the Lismore Caravan Park, the plaintiff's lack of a solid alibi ... some arguably odd behaviour by him in terms of him not searching for Simone the next morning (he denies that), and some delay in reporting Simone's disappearance to the Australian police, this all goes towards providing a basis for a reasonable suspicion about the plaintiff."
In June, Moran launched a defamation suit against Peters and her publishers Schwartz in the West Australian Supreme Court, claiming the book clearly implied he was guilty of murder.