Boyfriend to face trial over missing Melbourne woman

The boyfriend of missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka has pleaded not guilty to her murder.

Toby Loughnane was ordered to stand trial on Monday, accused of killing his partner in April last year.

Maryam Hamka has been missing since April last year.Credit:Nine News

“I am not guilty,” he said, appearing in court via video call from prison.

Hamka, 36, was last seen leaving a Brunswick supermarket on April 10, 2021, after telling family she was going to visit a friend in Brighton.

Her body has never been found.

A significant stain with a blood-like appearance was found on a section of carpet at the bottom of the stairs in Loughnane’s Brighton home, the court heard.

But no DNA profile could be obtained from the sample, forensic expert Maxwell Jones told the court.

That could have been because a small amount of blood was spread out, consistent with situations where a person has tried to clean up blood, he said.

“That may be one explanation as to why we got such a broad luminol reaction in that area of carpet,” he said.

Magistrate Johanna Metcalf found after a committal hearing that began in May that there is sufficient evidence to support a murder conviction.

Another man, Oscar Newman, will also stand trial charged with assisting Loughnane to avoid apprehension between April 11 and 15. He has also pleaded not guilty.

Loughnane is in custody while Newman remains on bail.

Both men are expected to face the Victorian Supreme Court on July 19.


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