Benjamin Milward covers his face as he is taken from Coffs Harbour Police Station in April 2014.
Benjamin Milward covers his face as he is taken from Coffs Harbour Police Station in April 2014. Frank Redward

"Yeah, you got me" man accused of Sophie murder tells police

AN IPSWICH man charged with one count each of murder, rape, deprivation of liberty and robbery following the death of Sophie Collombet  was picked-up on the streets of Coffs Harbour on Monday after an intensive manhunt.

The man cannot been named under Queensland laws relating to rape charges.

The accused was released into the custody of three Queensland detectives yesterday afternoon and was driven back to Brisbane, where he was formally charged.

Documents tendered to Coffs Harbour Local Court reveal police detectives Lindsay Schubert and Steve Vout sighted the man walking eastward about 2.40pm on Monday.

The Coffs Harbour detectives asked him if he was the man they were looking for.

"Yeah, you got me, was it the internet?" he allegedly replied.

The officers arrested the man on an interstate warrant and questioned him in a short electronically recorded interview before they took him into custody.

Ms Collombet's naked body was found in a rotunda at the park, near the William Jolly Bridge, early the next morning.

Police also said they had seized certain exhibits.

The man did not seek bail, which was formally refused.

Police had listed the seriousness of the offence, the accused's background, his lack of fixed address and lack of local ties to the Coffs Coast as the reasons he should be refused bail.

The accused did not appear in person at Coffs Harbour Local Court.

"He's next door," NSW Legal Aid solicitor Caitlin Arktar told the court.

"I am not requesting him to appear - I asked him not to be brought over."

Detective Senior Constable Tony Meads, Senior Constable Ben Caffrey and Senior Constable Chad Tracey-Patte, who travelled to Coffs Harbour on Monday, left the court immediately after the brief hearing to take the man back to Queensland. 


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