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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Derek Barrett arrested for Michelle Leng's murder

Derek Barrett and Michelle Leng

Michelle Leng's naked body was spotted by a tourist, floating face down, in the Snapper Point Blowhole at 10.30 am on Sunday morning two weeks ago.  It took some time for police to identify the body.

On Friday afternoon, police arrested her uncle Derek Barrett and charged him with her murder.  He was refused bail.

Police will allege she was stabbed at least 20 times by her Australian uncle Derek Barrett, bundled into a car, driven 100 kilometers and dumped in the ocean. 

Michelle Leng was living with her 48 year old aunt and her Australian husband Derek Barrett at the couple's home in Sydney. She moved to Australia five years ago from China to study business at the University of Technology in Sydney.

CCTV footage captures a car entering Lake Munmorah National Park, almost two hours drive from campsie, about 7am on Sunday morning and inside that car, police will allege, was Michelle Leng's body.

Police will also allege Mr Barrett's mobile phone was intercepted at Doyalson - 10 kms away - just 25 minutes before the body was discovered.

Today, accompanied by family and friends, Ms Leng's mother who flew in from China over the weekend arrived at Burwood court, packed with members of the Chinese community and Chinese media.

Mr Barrett did not appear and the magistrate quickly adjourned the matter until 29 June.

Outside the court, a representative for the Leng family said they were devastated by the young woman's death and would strongly oppose any attempts by Mr Barrett to seek bail.  "We loved this lady, she was like an angel" he said.

Michelle Leng

Outside court, Mr Barrett's lawyer told the media his client is pleading not guilty and he will be making a bail application at a later date because his client was not coping well.  

"Obviously he is very upset and shocked, he's not finding the Sydney Police Centre particularly attractive.,'s a terrible place to be incarcerated and I hope he will be moved in the near future" he said.

Mr Barrett is originally from Gwandalan, 9 kms from where the body was found.