McBride murder trial underway

Filed in Just In by April 9, 2021

SAYLE Kenneth Newson appeared at Newcastle Supreme Court last week and maintained he is not guilty plea to the murder of Carly McBride.

The Crown prosecutor, Senior Counsel, Lee Carr, told the jury of ten women and five men, “this trial is a circumstantial case”.

“There is no statement from any person that says I saw Sayle Newson kill this lady or I saw him assault her,” Mr Carr said.

Ms McBride’s skeletal remains were found at Owen’s Gap, with bones from her hands and forearms  missing; a detail the police chose not release to to the media in order to draw out suspects.

“The film released to the press was of the fake scene,” Mr Carr said.

“There wasn’t any film of the skeleton or any footage to zoom into to explain the knowledge of the lack of hands. The description of the scene is accurate and the knowledge of the hands, these are all pieces of circumstantial evidence,” he said.

“There is no tape recording of him admitting that and he certainly didn’t admit it to police,” he said.

The jury was told police recorded a conversation between Mr Newson and Steve McBride, Ms McBride’s father, in which Newson explained that he knew the area “like the back of his hand.”

However, Mr Newson was later heard saying, “they found Carly on Bunnan Road. I don’t even know where that is.”

The jury has since travelled to the Upper Hunter to view locations relating to the trial, including where McBride’s body was found and the nearby area where police set up their fake crime scene. will send a journalist to Newcastle Supreme Court to cover major developments in the trial, which is expected to run through until May.

Police allegations include:

  • Carly met Newson and Cunneen in 2013 at a drug rehabilitation centre near Wyong and began a relationship with Newson in August 2014, eight weeks before her murder.
  • Mr Newson was on an ice binge at the time of Carly’s murder and had controlling behaviours towards Carly.
  • Two days before her murder the couple had argued about Carly communicating with men on Facebook.
  • On September 30, Mr Newson had driven Carly from her home in Lake Macquarie to visit her daughter in Muswellbrook at her ex partner’s home, dropping her off at 12:30pm.
  • When Ms McBride was walking to McDonald’s to meet Newson, he intercepted her and killed her sometime after 2pm, before dumping her body at Owen’s Gap and made no attempt to conceal the body.
  • Carly’s body was discovered by two local bushwalkers on August 7, 2016, but police delayed announcing her body had been found for four days in an attempt to draw evidence from her killer.
  • An autopsy revealed Carly was killed from blunt force trauma with at least two blows to the skull and one to her back.
  • Mr Newson made a public display of concern in trying to find Carly, but early the next morning after her death had sent a text to a woman to arrange to have sex with her, stating “Do you want to f***?”

Milestones in the case:

  • October 2014: Strike force Karabi was established to investigate the disappearance. They searched along the banks of the Hunter River and the Skellatar Stock Route.
  • December 2014: The investigation changed from a missing person case to a homicide case.
  • December 22, 2014: Police conducted a two-day search focusing on land surrounding the Ironbark Ridge Estate in Muswellbrook, near the intersection of Ironbark Road and Rutherford Road.
  • February 16, 2015: Police conducted a more extensive search around the Ironbark Ridge Estate in Muswellbrook.
  • April 23, 2015: Police executed search warrants at three addresses: Gundy Road, Scone, Ted Clay Street, Muswellbrook and Hayes Street, Scone. During the searches three firearms including two shortened, a silencer, an extendable baton a quantity of substance believed to be methamphetamine and $5,875 in cash were seized. A 24 year old man was arrested at the Muswellbrook address for 13 offences in relation to the possession and supply of methamphetamine, possession of firearms and dealing with the proceeds of crime. Police stressed the charges were unrelated to the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Carly, but the charges did arise from the same investigation.
  • June 2016: The deputy state coroner Hugh Dillon began preparing for an inquest into Ms McBride’s suspected death.
  • August 7, 2016: Human remains were found on a rural property outside Scone, which are confirmed as being that of Carly McBride.

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