Chilean backpacker stabbing case set to go to trial
PROSECUTORS have rejected a submission to reduce a charge against a man accused of trying to kill a Chilean backpacker at a Cairns hostel.
Northern Territory man Raynard Gregory Moodoonuthi, 36, is accused of stabbing 26-year-old tourist Constanza "Kuki" Escudero in the neck at a Bunda St hostel in August last year, leaving her millimetres from death.
She was just days into a dream Australian holiday.
Defence barrister Tim Graw told the court last month he had made a submission to the Department of Public Prosecutions to have the charge dropped from attempted murder to grievous bodily harm in exchange for a guilty plea.
The Cairns Supreme Court heard yesterday the DPP had rejected that offer and the matter would proceed to trial.
Mr Graw said given the "current circumstances" with the impact of the coronavirus on court proceedings, it would be difficult to set a trial date at the moment.
Crown prosecutor Eddie Coker said if found guilty, they would be submitting for a lengthy prison sentence and a serious violent offender declaration.
"So he is not in any danger this year of serving too much time," he said.
Justice Jim Henry adjourned the matter for a mention on June 2.
Ms Escudero returned to Chile soon after the alleged attack and continues to undergo medical treatment.
Originally published as Chilean backpacker stabbing case set to go to trial