Trial af­ter body find in a cooler

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A MAN ac­cused of a grisly mur­der in which the vic­tim’s body was stuffed into a portable cooler and dumped in bush­land near Cairns has been com­mit­ted to stand trial.

But David Les­lie Hick­son, who has been in cus­tody charged with the killing since last Novem­ber, will first face charges rang­ing from com­mon as­sault to drug pos­ses­sion.

Hick­son ap­peared via video yes­ter­day in Cairns Mag­is­trates Court, where he de­clined to en­ter a plea to the charge of mur­der­ing New Zealand man Camp­bell Paterson and in­ter­fer­ing with a body.

He will reap­pear in a fort­night on un­re­lated charges, in­clud­ing two counts of com­mon as­sault and one count each of breach­ing a bail con­di­tion, tres­pass, drug pos­ses­sion and “un­law­fully pos­sess­ing a rel­e­vant sub­stance or thing”.

A tip- off led po­lice to Mr Paterson’s blood­ied body in a cooler about 10km from Yarrabah on Novem­ber 20.

Po­lice had been search­ing for him af­ter he failed to ap­pear in court over as­sault and drug- re­lated al­le­ga­tions.

Mr Hick­son was charged with Mr Paterson’s mur­der a week af­ter the body was found.

It is un­der­stood they knew each other but Mr Paterson had not long been in Cairns.

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