Cordingley murder accused in custody after court

Rajwinder Singh charged with murder

After travelling for more than 72 hours on international and interstate flights, a man accused of murdering Toyah Cordingley has uttered two words during a minutes-long Queensland court hearing.

Rajwinder Singh was extradited from India via Melbourne to Cairns, where he was charged with murdering the 24-year-old at Far North Queensland’s Wangetti Beach, in October 2018.

The 38-year-old appeared via video-link at Cairns Magistrates Court on Friday dressed in a white T-shirt, grey track pants and a black Sikh headwear, a day after his extradition from India.

The courtroom was packed with journalists, with about a dozen members of the public watching a livestream of proceedings on a TV in a special room set up nearby.

The bearded former nurse sat quietly in his seat at nearby Cairns police watch house until Magistrate Cathy McLennan asked if he could hear her.

“Yes madam,” Singh replied.

Police prosecutors told the court they would provide a brief of evidence by April 14, with a committal mention set down for April 28.

Singh, who listened silently to the discussions, was remanded in custody.

A number of people turned up with signs and placards in support of Ms Cordingley, but there was no sign of the defendant’s wife and three children.

There were also private security guards in the courthouse, with one officer telling journalists they were there “as a precautionary measure”.

Singh’s lawyer, Derek Perkins, briefly spoke to a scrum of media who encircled him outside after the hearing.

“Mr Singh is innocent until proven guilty, that’s all I’ve got to say,” he said.

Asked if he’d had a chance to look at the evidence, Mr Perkins replied “no”.

The lawyer declined to answer questions about whether Singh would “get a fair trial in Cairns”, or if he would apply to move the case to a Brisbane court.


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