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Courtney Herron death:

Henry Hammond faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning over the brutal beating death of 25-year-old Courtney Herron. Courtesy: Supplied

A homeless man has been remanded in custody, after appearing in court charged with murdering a young Melbourne woman and allegedly trying to conceal her body in a park.

Henry Hammond faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning over the brutal beating death of 25-year-old Courtney Herron. Mr Hammond made no application for bail.

The 27-year-old sported what appeared to be a black eye in the dock, and was looking around the public gallery during his brief appearance.

Defence lawyer Bernie Balmer told the court his client suffered a possible delusional disorder, autism spectrum disorder and had a historical diagnosis of ADHD.

Magistrate Donna Bakos said there was CCTV footage and forensic analysis that would form part of the prosecution case.

Ms Herron, who had no fixed address, was allegedly bashed to death in Royal Park in Parkville on Friday night, before walkers found her body on Saturday morning.

Authorities claimed her allegedly battered body had been concealed next to bushes.

Police have said Ms Herron had been struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues and had been couch surfing and sleeping rough.

This was a particularly, particularly horrendous attack,” Homicide squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said yesterday.

“When there’s a child that suffered drug use, mental health issues, family relationships can be fragmented,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean that families out there don’t love their children, and you know, our heart breaks for them.

“We are dealing with a heartbroken family again.
“This was a young woman who obviously had significant challenges in life and we as a community should be protecting these people and we didn’t – we failed.”

Mr Hammond will reappear in court on September 16.
The arrest comes after Nindara Edwards Norris, the sister of the 25-year-old’s ex-partner Terrick Edwards, revealed to The Age she called him hours before she died, but he missed the call and now feels responsible for not offering her a safe place to stay.

“Our families are all still in shock and my brother is struggling to process this as he missed her call Friday and now feels so terrible,” Ms Norris said.

She also told The Age that Ms Herron had grown up in a “loving” family and had worked for the Victorian housing department in recent years.

She has a younger sister and adult brother and was part of a beautiful caring Greek/Aussie family raised in the northern suburbs.”

“Courtney actually worked for DHHS housing department in Preston a number of years ago, so to end up homeless and on the streets is also truly shocking for people to grasp.”

Ms Herron’s tragic death has sparked renewed anger across the country after a spate of recent killings where young women lost their lives.

The park is a short distance from Princes Park, where aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon’s body was found on June 12 last year.

Aiia Maasarwe, 21, suffered a similar fate to Ms Dixon after being attacked on her walk home near La Trobe University on January 15.

This is a terrible tragedy,” Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday.
The premier, who delivered Australia’s first royal commission into family violence last term, said while the state had made significant progress on violence against women, there was more to be done.

“This is not about the way women behave, this is not about where women are at what hour,” he said.

“This is most likely about the behaviour of men.”

That is a sentiment echoed by Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius, who yesterday told reporters Melbourne was a safe city but attitudes against women needed to change.

“What is it in our community that allows some men to think that it’s still okay to attack women or take from women what they want?” he said.

“Violence against women is absolutely about men’s behaviour.”