A former IT worker who admitted to indecently assaulting and murdering his niece before dumping her naked body in a New South Wales, Australia, blowhole last year will face a sentencing hearing next month, the NSW Supreme Court said on Friday (6 October).
In August, Derek Barrett, 28, pleaded guilty to the stabbing murder of the Chinese student Mengmei Leng, 25 also known as Michelle Leng.
Barrett has pleaded guilty to taking or detaining a person with the intent to obtain advantage and three counts of committing an act of indecency with a person above 16 year of age.
Leng's naked body, which had been stabbed multiple times, was recovered from a blowhole at Snapper Point on the NSW Central Coast at 10.30am on 24 April 2016.
Police said that Leng was stabbed more than 40 times by her uncle while her aunt was away for the weekend.
On Friday, Barrett appeared via audio-visual link in the NSW Supreme Court while Justice Peter Johnson set down a sentencing hearing in Sydney on 24 November.
Leng reportedly lived with Barrett and her aunt, 48, in the southwest Sydney suburb of Campsie. She had come to Australia to study, five years before her murder.
The NSW police had released a CCTV video last April, showing the last known movements of Leng, who had been shopping in Sydney's Pitt Street.
The student was in contact with her friends until late that night, before her phone and social media accounts fell silent. The University of Technology, Sydney, graduate student had told her friends that she was headed to the Myer department store in George Street for an afternoon of shopping.
Homicide detectives had trawled through evidence, including CCTV footage around the national park and police divers retrieved items from the water to determine how she was dumped more than 100km from Sydney's central business district, where she was last in contact with her friends. Her body was recovered three days later at the popular tourist spot, Snapper Point.