Drug addict guilty of murdering woman in a Bonville motel

DETAILS of the Michelle Reynolds murder at a Bonville motel have been made public after drug addict Wayne Edward Jones failed in his bid to convince a judge that he did not kill her.

The Coffs Harbour Supreme Court heard Jones had gone to great lengths to cover up Ms Reynold's death - not allowing anyone to see into the motel, disposing of the body and dumping her belongings around Brelsford Park where he was later arrested.

There was evidence he had impersonated a taxi driver, offered to pay an actual driver a "handsome" sum to get him out of Coffs Harbour and, following his arrest, spun an elaborate tale about him and Ms Reynolds supposedly being attacked by a group of armed men.

The Crown's case was that Ms Reynolds, who was last seen alive in CCTV footage captured at a Coffs Harbour Shopping Centre, had checked in to the Arosa Motel with Jones on the night of December 12, 2012.

Police believed the pair had used methamphetamine before getting into some kind of a struggle.

Ms Reynolds body was discovered, hogtied, in nearby bushland later that week.

She had suffered a broken nose and a number of other injuries.

A post mortem concluded that in the absence of any clear physical injuries, Ms Reynolds had likely died from asphyxiation.

Jones's legal team argued there was "no evidence" of a number of elements needed to convict the accused of murder or manslaughter - in particular whether he had intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.

Justice Richard Button accepted that had the Crown case simply been that the pair had been seen at a motel together, he would have considered taking different course but said that the circumstantial evidence was "strong".

A jury found Jones guilty of murder.

He will be sentenced next month.

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