Black and Ryan trial there for long haul

THE trial of Natasha Ryan and Scott Black is expected to involve more than 100 witnesses and could take up more than a month of court time.

"If we get through five witnesses a day that's 20 days of court, that's a month of sittings,'' Black's barrister, Anne Demack said yesterday during a hearing in Rockhampton Magistrates Court. The pair have been charged with causing a false police investigation after a then 14-year-old Ryan disappeared from North Rockhampton High School on August 30, 1998.

She lived with Black until police raided his North Rockhampton home on April 11, 2003.

Her disappearance became the subject of a police investigation which resulted in serial killer Leonard John Fraser being charged with her murder.

The investigation is estimated to have cost police about $500,000.

Black is serving a 12-month sentence in Rockhampton Correctional Centre after being found guilty of perjury.

Ms Demack yesterday called for the charges to be struck out because of lengthy prosecution delays.

Ms Demack said police prosecutors had failed to provide her and Ryan's defence lawyer, Paul



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