Sophie Collombet.
Sophie Collombet.

Collombet murder accused allegedly drunk and on drugs

UPDATE: THE Ipswich man accused of raping and murdering a French student in Brisbane allegedly injected ice and shared a bottle of Jim Beam earlier that day.

A witness has also said the man was still drug affected later that night.

Benjamin James Milward, 26, has been charged with raping, murdering and robbing Sophie Collombet, whose body was found beaten and naked near William Jolly Bridge in Brisbane on the morning of March 28, 2014. He has also been charged with deprivation of liberty.

Ms Collombet, 21, was on her way home after a university class the previous night when she was attacked in a South Brisbane park.

Five witnesses took the stand at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday and were cross-examined as part of a committal hearing.

The case has been committed to the supreme court.

Two witnesses confirmed they saw Mr Milward inject ice in the morning of March 27, 2014.

Another witness, Justin Wood, said he sold Mr Milward ice earlier that day and that it was a "sh**" quality.

After Mr Wood gave evidence, Mr Milward stood up in the dock and apologised to the witness for putting him in the situation.

Mr Milward also apologised to his associate Layne Smith, who also gave evidence.

Mr Smith, who had been with Mr Milward when he allegedly injected ice on the morning of March 27 and later shared a bottle of Jim Beam with him, told the court he had seen the accused between 10.30pm and 11pm that night and believed he was still drug affected because he was energetic.

As Mr Smith left the witness stand, Mr Milward said: "Mr Smith, I'm sorry for putting you in this situation".

"All good, man," Mr Smith replied.

Outside court, Mr Milward's defence lawyer Michael Bosscher said his client's apologies in court were "based on the fact that he's sorry those people involved have to go through the process, it's not an admission of any sort".

Mr Bosscher said his client was "very relieved" that the court case was underway and that all of his instructions had indicated it would go to trial.

He said a trial would possibly occur in the first half of next year. 

[11:30 am] Collombet murder accused apologises to two witnesses

THE Ipswich man accused of murdering French student Sophie Collombet in Brisbane has stood up in court and apologised to witnesses who are giving evidence against him.

Benjamin James Milward is charged with murder and appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court today. Witnesses in the case are being cross examined as part of a committal hearing.

Three witnesses have been cross examined so far, all who Mr Milward allegedly saw on March 27 2014.

Police believe Ms Collombet was allegedly killed that night.

Two witnesses said the saw Mr Milward consume drug ice that day.

In court, Mr Milward stood up in the dock and apologised to two witnesses after they had been cross examined, saying he was sorry to put them in that situation.

Ms Collombet's beaten naked body was allegedly found near William Jolly Bridge on the morning of March 28 2014; the day after she was allegedly killed.

The hearing continues.


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