THE Phillip Island man committed to stand trial over the death of his wife has had his trial date set back.
Adrian James Basham, 44, who pleaded not guilty to murdering Samantha Fraser, 38, at Cowes on Phillip Island on Monday, July 23, 2018, was to have appeared in the Melbourne Supreme Court on Monday, July 12, 2021.
But it’s likely the trial will now be delayed by several weeks while some pre-trial matters are dealt with.
Eight weeks has been set aside for the trial before a jury in an open court.
Mr Basham, a fly-in fly-out construction worker, officially entered his “not guilty” plea in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 28, 2019, at the conclusion of a committal hearing.
During the four-day hearing, the court heard from health professionals, family members and friends of Ms Fraser who were closely questioned about their statements to police by defence barrister Peter Kilduff.
They gave evidence about Mr Basham’s controlling behaviour and about Ms Fraser’s fears for her safety and that of her three children.
Former neighbours of Ms Fraser spoke about the burning down of a back fence shortly before the couple split, one saying Ms Fraser blamed Mr Basham for the fire.
The court was told Ms Fraser had left her husband early in 2017 and had filed for divorce.
It was also noted that the night before she died, Ms Fraser hosted a party at her home to celebrate her birthday.
On the day of her death, she met a friend for coffee after dropping her three children off at school.
Ms Fraser’s body was found in her garage in Seagrove Way, Cowes, by police who were called to conduct a welfare check when she failed to collect the children from school.
By agreement, the committal was concluded without hearing from the two key police informants, Detective Senior Constable Luke Farrell and Detective Senior Constable Simon Fisher.
Mr Basham was ordered to stand trial by Magistrate Ann Collins on two sets of charges, some details of which have been suppressed by the court.