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Police case 'weak' against accused Rocky murderer: Court hears

Man arrested in relation to the murder of Syeid Alam escorted from the Rockhampton Police Station to watch house at the Rockhampton Courthouse.
Man arrested in relation to the murder of Syeid Alam escorted from the Rockhampton Police Station to watch house at the Rockhampton Courthouse. Adam Wratten

A DEFENCE laywer representing a Rockhampton man accused of murdering his mate says the case against his client is weak.

Mohammed Khan is accused of cutting Syied Alam's head off because he was angry about the victim's brother sleeping with his wife.

Khan was charged with murder and "indecently" interfering with a corpse after Mr Alam's headless body was found on the banks of Rockhampton's Fitzroy River on April 16, 2016.

Khan, 35, and 33-year-old Mr Alam worked at a local abattoir. 

On Monday, Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Glenn Martin refused Khan's application for bail, despite police having no forensic evidence linking him to the murder.

Khan's defence counsel James Godbolt said the Crown's claim that the affair was motive for the murder made no sense given it was the brother of his wife's lover who was killed.

"The brother was having an affair with Mr Khan's wife and for that to provide a reason for Mr Khan to murder the brother, it makes no logical sense," Mr Godbolt said.

He also argued that the Crown's case was weak as there was no forensic evidence linking Khan to the "brutal" murder at a "muddy" crime scene. 

"There was evidence of Mr Khan's intention to meet with the victim," Mr Godbolt said.

"My client was interviewed on a considerable number of occasions and on each of those occasions he denied meeting the deceased on the night in question.

"It is said that my client travelled from his home in Berserker to the area where the body was found.

"He carried out a particularly brutal murder before returning home and then going out again to another address.

"There is no forensic evidence at all to suggest that Mr Khan has been involved in the killing."

Mr Godbolt said no one saw Mr Khan clean himself or his clothes after the alleged murder and that CCTV footage of a car like one owned by his client was inconclusive.

He argued his client should be released on bail because it could be another year before he faced trial.

Police allege Mr Khan slit Mr Alam's throat and then chopped his head off with a tomahawk between 7pm and 8pm on April 5, 2016.

The court heard they were to meet at the river to go fishing and when they arrived Mr Khan allegedly murdered Mr Alam because the defendant's wife was having an affair with Mr Alam's brother.

"The deceased had shown compromising photographs of the defendant's wife to him," Crown prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge told the court.

Ms Wooldridge said Mr Khan turned up at Mr Alam's house bearing fruit and readings from the Koran about 6am the day after the alleged murder, although Mr Alam's family had no idea he was missing.

The prosecutor said the defendant also destroyed evidence of phone calls between himself and Mr Alam and that Mr Khan told lies about where he was during the hour in which Mr Alam is believed to have died.

Ms Wooldridge told the court that Mr Khan had an axe like the one used in the alleged murder and that his axe had disappeared.

"He had the necessary skills and access to the tools to carry out an execution by such means," she said.

"A cow had been slaughtered at his property and a tree had been chopped down and he was (then) in possession of an axe similar to the one located at the crime scene."

Justice Martin said while the Crown's case was weak, a jury could still convict Mr Khan, who had not shown the court he was not a flight risk.

Topics:  rockhampton


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