Man charged with mother’s murder

Bhanu Kirkman

Bhanu Kirkman

A MAN has been charged with the murder of 39-year-old Kristie Powell on Friday.

Ms Powell’s blood-soaked body was found next to her unharmed five-month old son at her Bellambi home, in Lorking Avenue.

The horrific discovery of the new mother’s body was found by a friend just a few metres from her son.

Detectives from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District arrested 29-year-old Bhanu Alan William Kirkman on Monday afternoon in a building near Maitland Railway Station. Kirkman was taken to Maitland Police Station where Wollongong detectives charged him with one count of murder.

Dressed in a blue forensic jumpsuit, Kirkman was brought into Maitland Court today 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 whispering to himself.

Kristie Powell

Kristie Powell

Kirkman did not enter a plea or apply for bail and the matter was adjourned to Wollongong Local Court on October 17.

The court heard that a Wollongong Local Court magistrate had issued an arrest warrant for Kirkman in January after he had failed to appear in court on a number of unrelated matters, including drug and fraud offences. He was convicted his absence, the court heard.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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