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Indian national Rajwinder Singh’s lawyers appear before court

Last month, the Queensland police charged Rajwinder Singh with murdering Toyah Cordingley, whose body was discovered on October 21, 2018, at Wangetti Beach, located 33km northwest of Cairns.

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During the Committal Mention at Cairns Magistrate Court on Friday, the prosecution and lawyers representing Rajwinder Singh, an Indian national charged with the murder of Toyah Cordingley, exchanged documents. Although the 38-year-old accused did not attend the hearing, he was excused by the court.

Singh’s lawyer appeared on his behalf for a brief mention of his charge in relation to the alleged murder of a 24-year-old Queensland woman, Toyah Cordingley, over four years ago.

Last month, the Queensland police charged Rajwinder Singh with murdering Toyah Cordingley, whose body was discovered on October 21, 2018, at Wangetti Beach, located 33km northwest of Cairns.

Although Singh has not pleaded guilty, he has consistently professed his innocence. During his second court appearance, his legal team represented him, while Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane provided an update on the case’s advancement. Both parties have exchanged all relevant documents to proceed by way of registry committal, which removes the requirement for a magistrates court committal hearing as per Queensland Courts. The case is scheduled for its next mention on June 9.

ABC reported that outside court, neither Singh’s duty lawyer, Derek Perkins, nor Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane would comment to the media.

Toyah Cordingley’s murder shocked the community and led to calls for increased safety measures at Wangetti Beach. The young woman had been walking her dog when she was attacked and killed, according to police.

Her death sparked a massive police investigation and a campaign for justice on social media, with the hashtag #justicefortoyah gaining widespread attention.

Just hours after the discovery of Toyah’s body, Rajwinder Singh left for India, where he went into hiding, switching between multiple locations to avoid being caught. According to Queensland Police, he abandoned his family and work in Innisfail and fled to India. However, he remained at large until recently.

Singh was eventually arrested in New Delhi on November 25, 2021, following an international manhunt that began when 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley’s body was found in 2018.

At the time of the murder, Singh was employed as a nurse in Innisfail and was residing with his wife and three children. After the Queensland government offered a record $1 million reward for information, Singh was apprehended in India. He was brought to Australia in March.

Read more: Over 100 sexual offences slapped on Indian national Sumit Rastogi

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