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Man charged over mum’s death hit with fresh charges

Search for Samantha Murphy's body shifts (file)

Source: AAP

The man accused of Samantha Murphy’s murder has been charged over a crash months before the Ballarat mother’s alleged killing.

Patrick Orren Stephenson has been charged with careless driving, drink driving and drug driving offences after a crash on October 1 last year, the Sunday after the AFL grand final.

Victoria Police confirmed on Friday the 22-year-old man had been charged on summons after a single-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle in Ballarat.

In March, Stephenson was arrested and charged over the disappearance of Murphy, who vanished after leaving home to go for an early-morning run on February 4.

He is accused of killing the mother-of-three at Mount Clear in Ballarat on the day that she went missing.

No trace of the 51-year-old woman has ever been found, despite weeks of widespread searches by police, volunteers and the public.

Murphy has been described as a physically and mentally strong woman who was devoted to her three children.

Stephenson will face Ballarat Magistrates Court on August 8 over the fresh offences and the murder charge.

– AAP

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