News State Victoria News Family face accused Chinatown killer in court

Family face accused Chinatown killer in court

Family and friends of a woman whose body was found in Melbourne's Chinatown district have faced her accused killer in court. Photo: AAP
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A schizophrenic man accused of murdering his partner in Melbourne’s Chinatown district sat stooped with his face in his hands at his second court appearance in two days.

Family and friends of 32-year-old Geelong woman Natalina Angok piled into Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday to watch the brief hearing for accused killer Christopher Allen Bell, 32.

Magistrate Duncan Reynolds acknowledged the large group’s presence in the court, explaining the hearing was purely administrative.

Bell is being held on a single charge of murder.

During his first court appearance on Thursday his lawyer Steven Pica said Bell had been unmedicated for a long time.

He had been released from a mental inpatient facility “only a week ago”, after staying for a week, the court was told.

It was noted for custody authorities that Bell was a diagnosed schizophrenic and his mental health needs should be assessed as soon as possible.

There were no further issues to address, Mr Reynolds was told on Friday.

Police have until July 19 to compile their brief of evidence against Bell over Ms Angok’s death, the cause of which is hoped to be revealed in autopsy results.

Ms Angok’s body was found at the intersection of Little Bourke Street and Celestial Avenue in Chinatown just after 6.30am on Wednesday.

Police on Friday issued a statement on behalf of her family.

“We are heartbroken,” it read.

“Our family is finding the strength to come to terms with this tragedy and the loss of Natalina Angok.”

Her sister Helena confirmed Ms Angok had been in a relationship with Bell for more than a year.

“She was a loving and caring sister and a down-to-earth person, not a troublemaker.

She loved everybody, even if someone did something bad to her, she would just talk and laugh with them,” Helena told The Age newspaper.

Bell will remain in custody and is due to face court again for a committal mention on August 30.

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