Courtney Herron’s body was discovered in Royal Park on Saturday morning.
Courtney Herron’s body was discovered in Royal Park on Saturday morning.

Accused killer smiling and shoeless in court

A MAN accused of the brutal bashing murder of Melbourne woman Courtney Herron has appeared briefly in court.

Henry Hammond, 27, was arrested on Sunday afternoon, a day after Ms Herron's body was found behind logs at Royal Park in Parkville, a short walk from Melbourne Zoo.

Mr Hammond, of no fixed address, wore no shoes, appeared to have a black eye and smiled as he sat in the dock at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court this morning. He was clean shaven and has shoulder-length brown hair.

The court heard Mr Hammond was previously diagnosed with ADHD and has "possible delusional disorder", "possible autism spectrum disorder" and has been prescribed Ritalin.

The 27-year-old nodded when he was told he will be remanded in custody to appear again on September 16.

The court heard prosecutors will go over CCTV footage, and a forensic analysis of Ms Herron's body will be carried out.

Mr Hammond had multiple social media accounts.
Mr Hammond had multiple social media accounts.

 

Mr Hammond, who turns 28 on Wednesday, lists himself as single on a number of different social media profiles.

His profiles indicate he has fathered two children and spent time overseas after the birth of his second child.

Mr Hammond's lawyer Bernie Balmer told 9 News his client had been caught up in a "very tragic and complicated situation".

Ms Herron was found by dog walkers in near Elliot Avenue about 9.15am Saturday.

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said there appeared to have been some attempts made to conceal her body.

"The level of violence involved here was extreme in my view," he told reporters on Sunday. "This was a particularly, particularly horrendous attack."

The exact cause of death was yet to be determined, and police do not believe Ms Herron's death was sexually-motivated.

"Homicide Squad detectives arrested and interviewed the 27-year-old on Sunday and charged him overnight with one count of murder," Victoria Police said in a statement this morning.

Courtney Herron was found in Royal Park by dog walkers on Saturday. Picture: VicPol
Courtney Herron was found in Royal Park by dog walkers on Saturday. Picture: VicPol

 

The young woman has been remembered by friends as a ‘beautiful’ person. Picture: VicPol
The young woman has been remembered by friends as a ‘beautiful’ person. Picture: VicPol

Inspector Stamper said Ms Herron had been couch surfing and sleeping rough, as well as struggling with drug and mental health issues.

The last confirmed sighting of the 25-year-old was on May 14 at St Albans when she was in contact with police.

Ms Herron tried to call her former boyfriend Terrick Edwards shortly before she was killed, according to The Age. Mr Edwards' sister said he felt responsible for "not being able to offer her a safe place" to stay.

Ms Herron attended Fitzroy Community School and lived at nearby Northcote, in Melbourne's north, before struggling to find secure accommodation.

Her friends have remembered her as a young woman with a smile that could light up a room, saying she had a heart of gold, according to 9 News.

One of her former teachers expressed deep sadness at hearing of Ms Herron's death, saying she was shocked to hear Ms Herron had been homeless.

"It horrifies me to think of her last terrifying moments, and being alone," she said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said more was required to protect women from being attacked.

"This is a terrible tragedy," he said.

"This is not about the way women behave, this is not about where women are at what hour."

A memorial for Ms Herron in Royal Park. Picture: James Ross
A memorial for Ms Herron in Royal Park. Picture: James Ross

In an interview with the ABC, a coach from nearby North Park Tennis Club said the discovery of Ms Herron's body was "confronting".

"It's very bad … it's pretty confronting," tennis coach Gabriel Moise said. "It is fairly dark in the morning. When I open up here (at the tennis courts), it's pitch black."

The park where Ms Herron was found is 1.6km from Princes Park, where aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon's body was found on June 12 last year.

A number of women have been killed and dumped on Melbourne's streets since Ms Dixon's rape and murder.

Aiia Maasarwe, 21, an exchange student, was killed after disembarking from a tram as she made her way home alone after going to a comedy show with friends.

Her body was found in shrubs about 50m from a tram stop near La Trobe University on January 15. Codey Herrmann was charged with her rape and murder three days later.

Geelong woman Natalina Angok, 32, was killed last month. Her body was discovered in a Chinatown alleyway in Melbourne's CBD on April 24.

Christopher Bell, the victim's boyfriend, was charged with her murder.

Henry Hammond was arrested an charged with murder on Sunday.
Henry Hammond was arrested an charged with murder on Sunday.
Hammond was living at no fixed address in Melbourne.
Hammond was living at no fixed address in Melbourne.


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