The man accused of murdering mother Kristie Powell at Bellambi last Friday has been refused bail during a brief court appearance in Maitland.
Bhanu Alan William Kirkman, 29, of Thirroul, was brought into Maitland Local Court on Tuesday dressed in a blue forensic jumpsuit and surrounded by four corrective services officers, one who tightly led him by his handcuffs.
He sat in the court dock smiling, with his hands up and his fingers outstretched throughout the brief appearance. He also appeared to be softly muttering to himself.
Magistrate John Chicken asked Kirkman if he was aware he had been charged with an offence of murder.
“That is correct, Your Honour,” Kirkman replied.
Kirkman is accused of murdering Ms Powell in a 16-minute window, between 11.36pm and 11.52pm on Thursday, according to court documents.
He did not enter a plea or apply for bail and the case was adjourned to Wollongong court on October 17.
The court heard that a Wollongong-based magistrate had issued an arrest warrant for Kirkman in January this year after he failed to appear in court on a number of unrelated matters, including drug and fraud offences.
Kirkman was convicted his absence, the court heard.
Kirkman was arrested in a demountable building near Maitland railway station about 4pm on Monday, three days after he is alleged to have murdered 39-year-old Ms Powell at her home in Lorking Street.
Wollongong detectives and the NSW Homicide Squad formed Strike Force Renehan to investigate Ms Powell’s death after her body was found inside her home about 1.10am on Friday.
Ms Powell’s five-month-old son was found uninjured inside the home.