NEARLY three years ago, Sayle Kenneth Newson demanded to know the truth about what happened to his then girlfriend, Lake Macquarie woman Carly McBride.
He would offer $10,000 cash as a reward. He would maintain a Facebook page that encouraged tip-offs from the community. And he would speak candidly to the media about how the couple’s lives were just “taking off”.
On Monday, police alleged Mr Newson knew the truth all along: that he had killed Ms McBride, robbing two children of their mother, and plunging her heartbroken parents into despair as years went by without receiving any answers.
In a breakthrough in a murder mystery that has rattled the Hunter since September 30, 2014, Mr Newson was arrested at San Remo on the Central Coast and charged with the Belmont woman’s murder.
He was also charged with two other offences in relation to the torching of a rented Mitsubishi Triton.
Hunter Valley Superintendent Steve Clarke revealed that a second man – who is in custody at the Lithgow Correctional Centre – would also be arrested later in the week.
It will be alleged the pair were part of a joint criminal enterprise to murder Ms McBride.
Mr Newson did not apply for bail during a brief appearance at Wyong Local Court in the afternoon.
Earlier, Superintendent Clarke said the 39-year-old had boasted to detectives about being a former boxer and Muay Thai champion with “20 wins and no losses”.
That would form a “significant” part of the prosecution case, he said, revealing that a post-mortem of Ms McBride’s remains concluded she died from a heavy blow to the head.
“A post-mortem has revealed that she died from blunt force trauma and we will allege that she was assaulted to the point where she died,” Superintendent Clarke told reporters.
Asked about Mr Newson’s behaviour in the aftermath of Ms McBride’s disappearance, including his appeals for help on Facebook and the reward for information, Superintendent Clarke said detectives had always kept the 39-year-old in their sights, revealing that the accused had used Ms McBride’s card to purchase drinks at McDonald’s after her disappearance.
Many early posts on the “Help Find Carly McBride” Facebook page were personally signed off by Mr Newson. They included appeals for witnesses to come forward with information, to his frustrations with police and the media with how the investigation was being handled, and eventually to his praise for Strike Force Karabi, which was charged with getting to the bottom of Ms McBride’s disappearance. Mr Newson told the Newcastle Herald in 2014 that he feared the worst.
“I believe she is dead, but I need the truth,” Mr Newson told the Herald at the time.
Ms McBride’s parents, Steve McBride and Lorraine Williams, did not speak publicly on Monday, but were understood to be relieved.
“They are obviously very relieved we’ve got to this point, but also very emotional as a result of what’s happened,” Superintendent Clarke said.
Magistrate Peter Feather adjourned the matter to Newcastle Local Court on August 9.