Verulam man accused of rape, murder denied bail

Verulam man accused of rape, murder denied bail

A 26-year-old call centre agent accused of raping and killing a seven-year-old girl in Verulam has been refused bail.

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It's claimed the man had asked the girl to go buy him cigarettes and was later seen taking her into his home.

The man intends pleading not guilty to all charges.

In his judgement that lasted around two hours, Magistrate Irfaan Khalil said the accused failed to prove exceptional circumstances that would have warranted his release on bail as is required with a Schedule 6 offence.

He said the fact that the man has an alibi did not constitute exceptional circumstances.

He's also dismissed the argument by the man's lawyer that the State's two key witnesses who are the same age as the victim - could've been influenced as statements were taken from them the day after the murder. 

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The lawyer had suggested they would not be credible witnesses.

The two witnesses were friends of the little girl whom accompanied her to the shop and claim they saw her go into the house with the accused. They further claim they saw the man leave the home carrying the girl’s body in his hands. 

The case has been postponed to the end of November.

During the bail ruling, the magistrate also said he took the man's safety into consideration based on the protest action that has been taking place outside court.  

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