Carly McBride murder: Sayle Newson committed for trial for arson, magistrate recommends more resources

Carly McBride

Carly McBride

A NEWCASTLE magistrate has recommended the DPP divert more resources into the prosecution of the man accused of murdering mother-of-two Carly McBride.

Sayle Newson, 40, who is accused of killing Ms McBride on September 30, 2014, and dumping her body west of Scone, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Parklea Correctional Centre.

Mr Newson, who was Ms McBride’s boyfriend for eight weeks at the time of her death, was committed for trial on a charge of arson, with investigators alleging he torched a Mitsubishi triton utility that his co-accused James Cunneen hired in the months after Ms McBride disappeared. 

The arson charge does not relate to the murder of Ms McBride, but stems from the subsequent homicide investigation, according to court documents. 

Mr Newson, who is represented by solicitor Mark Ramsland, will appear in Newcastle District Court on June 14 to get a trial date.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) withdrew the arson charges against Mr Cunneen in court on Wednesday. 

Mr Cunneen, who was represented by solicitor Donna Smith, remains charged with Ms McBride’s murder, with police alleging he and Mr Newson engaged in a joint criminal enterprise. 

Magistrate Robert Stone urged the DPP to have the matter ready for committal to the Supreme Court on the next occasion, noting it had been a year since the pair were charged with Ms McBride’s murder.

But DPP solicitor Kristy Mulley said a Deputy State Crown prosecutor would need to review the brief, which contains 58 volumes of evidence, before a decision could be made. 

“If the matter has the volume that has been expressed to me obviously the DPP will have to commit the resources to it so that it can move forward and get a trial date,” Mr Stone said.

“It can’t obviously be fitted in with the normal solicitor case load. Someone has to spend the time to go through the brief and do it now.”

Mr Stone adjourned the matter to June 27 and said he wanted the DPP to give him an indication on that date that the matter would be committed for trial before the end of July.

Newson twice held up a piece of paper with a love heart scrawled on it while on the AVL screen.