Trinity Bates.
Trinity Bates.

Trinity Bates murder trial looms

THE trial of the man accused of murdering eight-year-old Trinity Bates is one step closer with plans underway for a committal hearing.

Defence Lawyer Nick Larter yesterday appeared on behalf of Allyn John Slater, 20, of Bundaberg, to request a committal date for the case.

The lawyer said he expected the hearing to take at least five days.

The court heard more than 100 witnesses were involved in the case with that number expected to rise once pathology results were finalised.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said he expected about 50% to 60% of the witnesses to be called.

Magistrate Neil Lavaring said arrangements would need to be made to ensure a magistrate was available for the hearing.

He adjourned the case until August 16 for a further mention when a committal date is expected to be set.

The court indicated the hearing date would most likely fall early in 2011.

Slater was not in the court yesterday and his appearance was excused from the upcoming mention.

He is charged with the alleged murder of the eight-year-old Bundaberg girl whose body was found in a stormwater drain about 50 metres from her home on February 22.

It is believed she was abducted from her Walker Street home on the Sunday night with her parents discovering her empty bed about 5.30am.

Hundreds of people packed out the CitiCoast Church on March 10 to say goodbye to the girl affectionately known as “Trini”.

Pink balloons and butterflies were released at the service as symbols of love and farewell to the little girl who brought an entire community together.

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