The police presence was high as Bundaberg Magistrates Court prepared for the appearance of a man charged with the murder of eight-year-old Trinity Bates.
The police presence was high as Bundaberg Magistrates Court prepared for the appearance of a man charged with the murder of eight-year-old Trinity Bates. Doug Gillett

Girl's alleged killer in court

FAMILY friends and strangers yelled abuse as a 19-year-old Bundaberg man appeared in court charged with the murder of eight-year-old Trinity Bates.

Allyn John Slater was brought up the front steps of Bundaberg Magistrates Court, where defence lawyer Thomas Bray asked Magistrate Jennifer Batts to hear an application for the case to be heard in a closed court.

She agreed to hear that application in closed court, and cleared the room while the matter was being considered.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens did not oppose the court being closed for the hearing of the application, but Ms Batts later denied the request to close the court for the hearing.

Police have asked for extra time to collect more forensic evidence related to the alleged murder.

Slater was remanded to reappear on May 17 for committal mention.

As the accused arrived and left, family friends and strangers outside court yelled abuse.

Jessica McDowall said she'd known Trinity since she was a little girl and felt compelled to be there.

Ms McDowall said Trinity's death had saddened and sickened her, and community anger ran deep.

Police earlier urged residents to show restraint, and boosted security at the court.

Before the hearing, Detective Superintendent Maurice Carless said he understood people's feelings.

"But in terms of taking action on that, I think it's prudent to let the course of justice take its course," he told reporters.


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