Trial after body find in a cooler
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.