Pair face trial over wheelie bin manslaughter

A Woonona man accused of being an accessory to the manslaughter of a teenager whose remains were found in a wheelie bin made his first bid for bail yesterday, hours after he was ordered to stand trial over his alleged involvement in the 2008 death.

The 20-year-old and his 46-year-old female co-accused, who was also charged with being an accessory, formally pleaded not guilty to the allegations in Wollongong District Court yesterday and will now face a lengthy trial, set to start on May 27 next year.

Hours later, defence solicitor Stewart Holt applied for bail on the man's behalf, noting his client now faced further time behind bars pending trial.

Judge Paul Conlon refused the man's bail, stating the court had no confidence he would appear or avoid witnesses.

The victim's badly decomposing remains were discovered inside a wheelie bin buried in an elderly woman's northern suburbs backyard on February 28 last year.

The 73-year-old woman pleaded guilty to the teen's manslaughter in a Sydney court last month, admitting to failing to care for the sick girl on October 12, 2008, after she suffered injuries at the hands of an "unknown assailant".

The man, who was 15 at the time of the offence, is accused of helping the elderly woman to avoid apprehension.

It is also alleged the man helped another teen dig a hole in the woman's backyard to bury a "dead dog".

Police yesterday opposed the man's bail bid as he was seeking to live with a prosecution witness.

The court heard there had been considerable contact between the pair, with the witness regularly visiting the man in jail and phoning him almost daily.

Mr Holt conceded the suggested residence was not ideal but said the man had no other address and would be forced to find accommodation in Sydney.

He said the man had been in custody over the allegations for more than 16 months and needed to be free to prepare his case.

Mr Holt said that his client would report to police, stay away from the Illawarra and avoid contacting any witnesses.

Refusing bail, Judge Conlon cited the strength of the Crown case and the man's lack of community ties.

The female accessory co-accused, who also fronted the court, was released on strict bail last month but yesterday requested her address be changed.

Judge Conlon varied the woman's residence but ordered her to continue reporting daily to a Sydney police station.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are set to re-appear in court early next year.