Stepfather killing: 10,000 sexual abuse images seized

Almost 10,000 images of the sexual abuse of a young woman accused of murdering her stepfather in country Victoria were seized by police after her arrest last year, a court has heard.

The woman was this afternoon committed to stand trial for murder in the Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the charge during a committal hearing in Shepparton Magistrates Court.

Detective Senior Constable Barry Gray told the court the 9743 images and six movies were stored on CDs, DVDs and memory cards found in the shed belonging to the girl's dead stepfather.

The images span four years from January 2004 - when she was 14 - until February 2008, shortly before the man's dismembered body was found.
Detective Senior Constable Gray, of the police homicide squad, said some of the movies and images he had seen depicted oral sex and vaginal sex.

He told the court one image showed the accused tied to a chair with cable ties.

The woman's stepfather was shot in the head with his own shotgun in March last year after demanding oral sex from the accused at gunpoint, Detective Senior Constable Gray said.

The court heard the woman later dismembered her stepfather's body with a hand saw, before disposing of the parts in a camping ground near Shepparton.

The woman's defence lawyer, Peter Chadwick, told the court "there can be no doubt as to [her] sexual abuse".

The abuse had been videotaped and photographed for four years in nearly 10,000 images by the stepfather she was accused of murdering, he said.

Prosecutor Mark Gamble said the matter should go to trial, telling the court the accused had tried to avoid detection after the alleged murder.

Other witnesses, former school friends of the girl, told the court this morning that they had suspected the young woman and her stepfather had a sexual relationship.

One of the witnesses said she told a school counsellor in 2005 that she thought the girl's stepfather was "hurting her or sexually abusing her".

Another witness said she spoke to a teacher about the relationship between the young woman and her stepfather.

Witnesses said they were not aware that any follow-up action had been taken.

The woman was released on bail at the conclusion of today's committal hearing.

The date of her trial for murder will be set at a directions hearing in Melbourne on January 27.