Facebook friend accused of murder

THE MAN accused of murdering eight-year-old girl Trinity Bates faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

Allyn John Slater, 19, of Bundaberg appeared handcuffed and in a brown prison-issue jumper in front of Magistrate Jennifer Batts.

The former Kepnock State High School student, who graduated from Year 12 in 2007, sat with his head bowed and occasionally glanced around as his case proceeded.

Former students told the News-Mail he used to attend special education classes at the school.

He is listed as the friend of Trinity’s parents Amanda Clarke and Damien Bates on social networking site Facebook.

Outside the court room about 12 police officers patrolled the area outside the court and stood guard in the foyer of the building.

Lawyer Thomas Bray asked for the matter to be heard in a closed court and police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens did not oppose the closed court application being heard behind shut doors.

Ms Batts closed the court for about five minutes but she rejected the application and the substantial media contingent was let back in again.

The magistrate said she could not hear a bail application: “There is no jurisdiction in this court to grant the defendant bail.”

Slater’s case was adjourned until May 17, to allow the police more time to prepare the forensic evidence.

North Coast regional co-ordinator Detective Superintendent Maurice Carless said he was pleased with the outcome of the investigation.

“A lot of people have worked on this and it has been a top priority for the Queensland Police Service,” he said.

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