Lawyer’s claim on beach murder case

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An Indian national charged with the murder of Toyah Cordingley has faced a Far North Queensland court for the first time since allegedly fleeing the state, with his lawyer saying he was “innocent until proven guilty”.

Police allege Rajwinder Singh killed the 24-year-old while she was walking her dog on Wangetti Beach near Cairns in October 2018.

The former nurse, 38, boarded a flight to India the next day.

He was arrested on November 25 last year – about a month after Queensland Police announced a $1m reward for information.

Toyah Cordingley, 24, was killed at Wangetti Beach in October 2018.Toyah Cordingley, 24, was killed at Wangetti Beach in October 2018.

Mr Singh was then extradited to Cairns from India, via Melbourne. on Thursday where he was charged with one count of murder.

Following a brief mention before Cairns Magistrates Court on Friday, his matter was adjourned for a further mention on April 28.

Mr Singh’s lawyer Derek Perkins told media outside of the courthouse on Friday his client was “innocent until proven guilty”.

QLD Police video still of Rajwinder Singh arriving in Melbourne after being extradited from India for the death of Toya Cordingley.QLD Police video still of Rajwinder Singh arriving in Melbourne after being extradited from India for the death of Toya Cordingley.

He said Mr Singh’s safety in custody was a “matter for the authorities” but believed they would protect him.

Asked if a bail application would be made, Mr Perkins told reporters: “No comment.”

Before the murder charge was laid against Mr Singh, Acting Superintendent Kevin Goan on Wednesday told Melbourne Magistrates Court police would allege there was evidence to tie him to Ms Cordingley’s death.

Detective Acting Superintendent Kevin Goan told a court there was DNA evidence linking Rajwinder Singh to Toyah Cordingley’s murder. Picture NCA NewsWire / Aaron FrancisDetective Acting Superintendent Kevin Goan told a court there was DNA evidence linking Rajwinder Singh to Toyah Cordingley’s murder. Picture NCA NewsWire / Aaron Francis

“The case relies on DNA evidence which links Mr Singh to her (alleged) homicide,” he said.

“There is also other telephone evidence which suggests the movement of Ms Cordingley’s phone with Mr Singh’s phone in proximity … travelled to the western side of Cairns.”

Acting Superintendent Goan said police will allege Mr Singh fled to India shortly after Ms Cordingley’s death, “abandoning his family and employment in Innisfail”.

Toyah Cordingley’s father found her body at Wangetti Beach in October 2018.Toyah Cordingley’s father found her body at Wangetti Beach in October 2018.

The body of Ms Cordingley, 24, was found on a secluded Far North Queensland beach in October 2018.

She had been out walking her dog the night before, with her family becoming worried when she did not return.

Her father found his daughter’s body half-buried in sand dunes the following day, with injuries police described as “visible” and “violent”.

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