Casino after the murder? Australians in court
Published by Giselle
December 17, 2019 10:27 pm
A 33-year-old Australian will have to answer to the Melbourne Supreme Court next year for murder.
This was decided yesterday by the Magistrates Court of Victoria at a preliminary hearing. Allen B. is accused of killing his girlfriend Natalina A. in April 2019. Immediately after the alleged crime, the man dedicated himself to gambling at Crown Casino.
Murder in Chinatown
Shortly after his arrest in April 2019, Australian Allen B. admitted to police officers that he had killed his girlfriend Natalina A.. In court yesterday, the 33-year-old, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, withdrew his confession.
The first-instance court in Melbourne then decided to refer the case to the Supreme Court. The main trial is scheduled to begin next year.
In the early hours of April 24th, 2019, a passer-by discovered the body of Natalina A. in Melbourne’s Chinatown. The woman was lying in the lane of a road, next to her, her handbag and her broken smartphone.
The 32-year-old had died violently. The investigators quickly targeted a prime suspect.
Conspicuous behaviour before the crime
Natalina A. had been seen several times accompanied by her partner Allen B. in the hours before her death. According to independent witnesses, the couple had behaved conspicuously.
A hotel employee reported how he had caught Allen B. trying to steal a bottle of wine the night before the crime. The allegedly heavily drunk defendant then became abusive and wanted to start a fight. Meanwhile, Natalina A. had continuously apologized for her friend’s behaviour.
Around 2:20 am in the night; the couple called a taxi. The driver remembered in court that the atmosphere in the back seat had been tense: Ms A. had used the F-word several times and had complained massively about Allen B.. This had appeared very angry.
Playing together at the machine
The taxi driver then dropped the couple off at the Golden Nugget, a popular slot machine bar in Melbourne’s Chinatown. Surveillance camera footage shows that Natalina A. and Allen B. spent their time drinking and gambling until the early hours of the morning.
Pokies” are the most popular slot machines in Australia. Crown Casino Melbourne alone offers 2,500 of these machines, and there are around 27,500 other licensed machines in the entire state of Victoria. The vendors often rely on a mixture of bar and vending machines.
Around 5 pm, the two would have left the Golden Nugget. Security photos show how Natalina A., accompanied by a man, turns into a street that is not monitored by a camera. Around 5:40 pm, the man leaves the area alone. About an hour later, a passer-by found Natalina A’s body.
At noon the police find Allen B. in a hotel. In court, one of the murder investigators described the clash.
The suspect had scratch marks on his neck but was unimpressed by the presence of the investigators. The 33-year-old responded casually to the question about his whereabouts in the past hours:
Get me a drink, and I’ll tell you a story.
After his arrest, Allen B. confessed to killing his girlfriend at the police station.
Down at the casino?
Subsequent investigations revealed that the defendant had not entered the hotel until around 11 am. The time between the alleged murder and his return is said to have been wasted with further gambling. This at least suggests withdrawal of money, which Allen B. had made around 8:15 am in the Crown Casino.
In an earlier hearing, it had become known that Natalina A. and Allen B. had been in a relationship for over a year. Allen B. had struggled with psychological problems. Only a week before the crime, he had left a psychiatric facility where he had been treated for schizophrenia.
In Australia, the violent death of Natalina A. continues to fuel the discussion about the social implications of violence against women. Natalina A. is one of several female victims killed in recent months in a public place in Melbourne.