Toby Loughnane to stand trial over missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka last seen in Brunswick


Ex-boyfriend is ordered to stand trial over the alleged murder of his missing lover who was last seen leaving a Woolworths supermarket

  • Toby Loughnane will stand trial over death of former partner Maryam Hamka, 36
  • She was captured on CCTV leaving Brunswick store and hasn’t been seen since
  • Court heard blood-like appearance was found  on carpet in Loughnane’s home 
  • Loughnane has pleaded not guilty to her murder and remains behind bars

The ex-boyfriend of a missing Melbourne woman will stand trial after pleading not guilty to her murder.

Toby Loughnane was on Monday ordered to stand trial, accused of killing his former partner Maryam Hamka 14 months ago.

Her body has never been found. 

‘I am not guilty,’ Loughnane told the court via videolink from prison on Monday.

Missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka (pictured) vanished without a trace 14 months ago. Her body has never been found

Missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka (pictured) vanished without a trace 14 months ago. Her body has never been found

His former girlfriend Ms Hamka, 36, was last seen leaving a Woolworths supermarket in inner-city Brunswick on April 10, 2021 after telling family she was going to visit a friend in Brighton.

A significant stain with a blood-like appearance was found on a section of carpet at the bottom of the stairs in Loughnane’s Brighton home, the court heard.

But no DNA profile could be obtained from the sample, forensic expert Maxwell Jones told the court.

That could have been because a small amount of blood was spread out, consistent with situations where a person has tried to clean up blood, he said.

‘That may be one explanation as to why we got such a broad luminol reaction in that area of carpet,’ he said.

Maryam Hamka was captured on CCTV leaving a Woolworths supermarket in inner-city Brunswick on April 10, 2021. It was the last time she was seen alive

Maryam Hamka was captured on CCTV leaving a Woolworths supermarket in inner-city Brunswick on April 10, 2021. It was the last time she was seen alive

Magistrate Johanna Metcalf found after a committal hearing that began in May that there is sufficient evidence to support a murder conviction.

Another man, Oscar Newman, will also stand trial charged with assisting Loughnane to avoid apprehension between April 11 and 15.

He has also pleaded not guilty.

Loughnane remains behind bars in custody while Newman remains on bail.

Both men are expected to appear in the Victorian Supreme Court for a directions hearing on July 19.

Maryam Hamka (pictured) vanished without a trace after telling family she was going to visit a friend in Brighton

Maryam Hamka (pictured) vanished without a trace after telling family she was going to visit a friend in Brighton

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