Gold Coast councillor to plead not guilty to murder

Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden will step down from his role in Gold Coast City Council.

Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden will step down from his role in Gold Coast City Council. Photo: Facebook

A Gold Coast city councillor accused of murdering his mother’s partner on the Queensland glitter strip will plead not guilty amid claims of domestic abuse.

Councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden was charged with murder after police were called to a disturbance at a residence in Arundel about 3pm on Wednesday.

Emergency services found Robert Malcolm Lumsden, 58, deceased inside the property.

Police allege he died of asphyxiation and Bayldon-Lumsden was arrested at the scene.

The councillor did not appear as the charge was mentioned in Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Lawyer Jason Murakami entered a plea of not guilty on the councillor’s behalf.

“I am instructed to enter a plea of not guilty to the charge,” Mr Murakami told the court.

Mr Murakami said his client had no criminal history, and an application for bail is expected to be lodged on Thursday to be heard in the Brisbane Supreme Court as soon as possible.

The matter was adjourned for mention on September 8.

Outside the court, Mr Murakami confirmed his client would contest the charge amid claims of domestic violence against multiple family members.

It is understood the victim was the long-term de facto partner of the councillor’s mother.

The first-time councillor was elected in 2020, becoming the youngest councillor in the city’s history.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate said that despite the criminal charge, the councillor would retain his office.

“Of course we are shocked, condolences to the family and the issue is that he is innocent before being proven guilty,” Mr Tate told reporters.

“Whether he gets bail or not, that will determine the direction the city will take.”

Mr Tate said the council would liaise with the state government on the councillor’s future.

“I will write to the deputy premier, who is the local government minister, and ask him for advice.

“The power rests with him in terms of options for Councillor Bayldon-Lumsden.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles has sought definitive legal advice and has been contacted for comment.

Under the legislation, grounds for removing a councillor include if the officeholder is incapable of performing their responsibilities or if it is a matter of public interest.

The councillor and former schoolteacher had been living with his mother at the Arundel address, according to neighbours.

“My first fear was something had happened to Ryan because he is a beautiful, beautiful person, so I was hoping nothing happened to him,” one neighbour told the ABC.

“He would be the one I know the most. He’s very active in the community in a really, really lovely way. Everyone knows and loves him.

“He was very active in his sister’s upbringing … always mowing the lawns, always the one tending to the house.”

The charges have rocked Gold Coast City Council, with fellow councillors stunned by the reports.

“This is a complete shock,” one told AAP on Thursday.

“He was always very respectful, very quiet. He’s a lovely guy who just wanted to represent his community.

“We are in total shock that this has happened.”

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