Murder trial aborted as counsel exits


THE Camilla George Supreme Court murder trial was aborted yesterday under sensational circumstances.

Defence barrister Jeff Clarke was forced to withdraw from representing his client, accused man Maxwell Ronald Brown, 48.

Brown has pleaded not guilty to murdering 16-year-old Camilla, who was found savagely beaten, bleeding and naked near the Church of Christ, William Street, Rockhampton, early on April 18 last year.

Yesterday the trial did not recommence after the lunch adjournment.

Following a delay, Mr Clarke and Crown prosecutor Ross Martin addressed Justice Peter Dutney in the absence of the jury.

When the jury was brought in, Justice Dutney advised them that Mr Clarke had been forced to withdraw "as a result of events which have transpired'' and said the trial would have to be aborted.

As Brown was obviously an indigenous man of very limited education, he would not receive a fair trial if the proceedings continued and he was forced to represent himself, Justice Dutney said.

"Regrettably, we can't do anything about it,'' he said.

The trial was into its fourth day. Brown was remanded in custody until the next criminal court sittings.

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