When Carly McBride went missing in the NSW Hunter Valley in 2014 it was her new boyfriend Sayle Kenneth Newson who led an immediate public campaign to find her.
- The Supreme Court trial heard Ms McBride’s boyfriend sought sex with another woman a day after Carly McBride went missing
- Sayle Kenneth Newson’s friend, James Anthony Cunneen, is on trial as a co-accused who allegedly helped dump Ms McBride’s body
- The court heard police faked the location of Ms McBride’s body as a tactic to find the killer
But the day after Ms McBride disappeared, Crown prosecutors allege Mr Newson sought sex with another woman and was regularly consuming the drug ice.
Mr Newson, 41, is charged with Ms McBride’s murder and today faced the Supreme Court in Newcastle for what is expected to be a three-month trial.
‘Do you want to f***?
In his opening address, Crown prosecutor Lee Carr SC told the jury that Mr Newson’s “very public display of concern” on the day of Ms McBride’s disappearance was at odds with the message he sent another woman early the following morning.
The message said: “Do you want to f***?”, Mr Carr told the court.
“And Mr Newson thereafter made arrangements to meet with [the woman] so that that offer could be sorted out,” he said.
Ms McBride, a mother of two, and Mr Newson, a Muay Thai kickboxer, had met at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre and had been dating for eight weeks when on September 29, 2014 she disappeared in Muswellbrook.
Mr Newson had driven Ms McBride from her home in Lake Macquarie to Muswellbrook and dropped her at her ex-partner’s house so she could visit her young daughter.
Carly McBride was believed to be walking to a local fast food restaurant when she disappeared. (Facebook)
The Crown alleges that after the visit Mr Newson intercepted Ms McBride he killed her with blunt force trauma to her head before disposing of her body in bushland 40 kilometres away on a road to the west of Scone.
It is alleged Mr Newson’s friend, James Anthony Cunneen helped him dump the body and Mr Cunneen faced trial as a co-accused today.
The Crown alleges that Mr Newson had been using the drug ice for several days in the lead-up to Ms McBride’s death and that he was driven by jealousy.
Fake crime scene
Carly McBride became the face of Missing Persons Week until her body was eventually found by two bushwalkers in 2016, two years after her disappearance.
Today the court heard the police released fake imagery of the location of her remains to the media as a tactic to find her killer.
Mr Carr said that Mr Newson was recorded in a telephone conversation describing a part of the real crime scene, at a time when that location was still hidden from the public.
The allegation will form part of a 36,000-page brief of evidence against Mr Newson and Mr Cunneen.
But Mr Carr said there was no forensic evidence and the case would rely on circumstantial and tendency evidence.
“Nowhere in those papers … is what we would call a smoking gun-type situation,” he told the jury.
In his brief reply, Mr Newson’s barrister Phillip Massey told the court that the Crown’s case was weak and the circumstantial evidence could be explained when put in the proper context.