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Murder accused mentioned ‘demon’ troubling him, lawyer says

Eunji Ban
Eunji Ban File

UPDATE: AFTER Eunji Ban was killed in 2013, Alex Reuben McEwan spoke of "a demon that had been troubling him his whole life", his defence lawyer says.

"It didn't feel like it was him who did it. It felt like he was possessed," barrister John Allen told the jury in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday.

Mr McEwan, a former Ipswich man who has pleaded not guilty to murdering the South Korean student, also told his mum about a "a sphere or ball rolling around his head", Mr Allen said.

Mr McEwan told detectives in a police car the "demon" had always bothered him.

The defence lawyer said his client, 23, referred to watching the attack on Ms Ban, and it seemed like "someone else was doing it".

"These are only hints touching upon what will be the crucial issues in this trial."

The Crown has already said Mr McEwan made multiple admissions to the attack on Ms Ban in central Brisbane in November 2013.

But the issue of whether he was mentally sound at the time of the attack will probably be pivotal to the trial, prosecutor David Meredith said.

EARLIER: FORMER Ipswich man Alex Reuben McEwan went out "looking to kill someone" the night Eunji Ban lost her life, a jury has been told.

The 23-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Ban, who died in November 2013.

Ms Ban left her unit near Brisbane's Roma St Parklands to go to work at the Transcontinental Hotel on November 24 that year.

"Unfortunately her path crossed that of the accused, Alex McEwan, who later told friends and police that he'd gone out looking to kill someone," prosecutor David Meredith said on Monday.

"He admits he killed Ms Ban and went out that night with the intent of killing someone, anyone he met," Mr Meredith told Brisbane Supreme Court.

The prosecutor said a witness saw a young man "dragging something" up stairs near the parklands before the man jumped a fence.

Mr Meredith said Mr McEwan then went back to his family's unit in Leichhardt Street.

"When he returns to his unit about 5am, he rings a number of friends and confesses he killed a girl by bashing her."

Because of these alleged confessions, the trial would most likely focus on Mr McEwan's "mental capacity", the prosecutor added.

Proving McEwan's guilt would be the Crown's responsibility.

But Mr Meredith said proving mental illness would be the defence's responsibility.

The role, if any, that alcohol might have played could also be discussed.

"There is evidence that the accused drank a bottle of rum and six shots of [another drink] in about two and-a-half hours," Mr Meredith said.

Ms Ban was found dead within a few hundred metres of the courthouse where McEwan is on trial.

"The places you're going to hear about are just up the road," Justice Jean Dalton told jurors.

Justice Dalton told jurors they must not try "investigating" the matter themselves, on the ground or online.

"It's very tempting because it's very close where the things took place," she said.

The trial continues.

23-year-old faces trial over alleged murder of Korean student

A FORMER Ipswich man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of South Korean student Eunji Ban.

Alex Reuben McEwan, 23, will now face a trial in Brisbane Supreme Court.

His trial is expected to take two weeks, Justice jean Dalton has told jurors this morning.

McEwan is accused of murdering Ms Ban, who was working as a cleaner in the city, on November 24, 2013.

Her body was found in central Brisbane.

The jury has been empanelled and will begin hearing evidence today.

Topics:  court crime editors picks eunji ban murder

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