Shock courtroom claim about schoolgirl's tragic death (2024)

The mother of the man accused of murdering Charlise Mutten has told a court she heard the schoolgirl's voice hours after police allege the nine-year-old was already dead.

Dressed in trousers, a long black coat and with wavy red hair, Annemie Steinwas testifying at the trial of her son Justin Stein who denies killing the child in 2022.

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC has previously told the trial that Stein was the 'last person' to see Charlise and had the opportunity to kill her between 7.16pm on January 11 and 10.06am on January 12.

But on Thursday, Ms Stein said she spoke with her son at about 7pm or 8pm on the evening of January 12, 2022 and heard a 'cheeky voice' in the background which she believed was Charlise.

She described the girl as 'very intelligent, good-natured, very polite and a bit cheeky'.

She said the voice called her by one of her pet family names, Narelle or Muriel, but was accused of having 'added to your evidence' by prosecutor Ken McKay SC.

The court was played a recording of her interview at Springwood police station two days after her son's call in which she appeared to deny hearing anyone in the background.

Annemie Stein has taken to the stand at the murder trial of her son, who is accused of shooting dead nine-year-old Charlise Mutten

Annemie Stein was accused of 'adding' to her evidence

Mr McKay put it to Ms Stein on Thursday: 'What I'm suggesting to you about voice in background, that is something you have added to your evidence to assist your son?'

She answered: 'No'.

'I suggest you did not hear a voice in the background during your call with Justin,' Mr McKay said, to which she replied, 'Idefinitely heard a voice.'

Ms Stein revealed she believed Charlise's mother Kallista Mutten and her son had split up.

Ms Stein told the court that by the week in which Charlise disappeared, she never wanted Ms Mutten back at her Mount Wilson property.

She said this was because Ms Mutten 'was like a train wreck' and that her had 'had enough of her behaviour, mood swings, ups and downs'.

She claimed that Ms Mutten had left the property messy 'with Ouija boards and glue everywhere' and that she didn't approve of Ms Mutten's 'aggression' with Charlise, saying 'it wasn't the comfortable mother-daughter relationship as it should be...'

Ms Stein told the court that despite the split, her son was picking up Charlise and her mother and bringing them back to her family's Mount Wilson property for the night.

'I wasn't happy because Kallista was obviously at my property with Charlise,' Ms Stein told the jury.

She had 'a few heated comments' and she said Stein told her to 'relax it's just for one night', the court heard.

Ms Stein said her son said he would be taking them to stay with a friend of Ms Mutten's the following day.

'Then I heard in the background... a little cheeky voice "Narelle, it's only one night",' Ms Stein told the court.

'To the best of my knowledge it was cheeky - the way it was said was the cheeky tone that was the little girl. She always called me Narelle.'

Annemie Stein (left) said she had met Charlise in late 2021 and had the schoolgirl, her mother and her son over for Christmas Day

Ms Stein said that the next day her son called her and was 'hyperventilating' and told her:'The car's gone, Kallista's gone, Charlise's gone.'

Ms Stein said she had met Charlise in late 2021 and had the schoolgirl, her mother and her son over for ChristmasDay.

Ms Stein said she arrived at the Mount Wilson property on the Friday that Charlise was reported as a missing child to find it crawling with police.

She told one of the officers on site about her son's claims, that Charlise had been left with a female antiques auction assessor.

In the conversation recorded on a body-worn camera, Ms Stein said she asked her son if he'd got the woman's name.

The police officer replied, 'hopefully you would have her details because you wouldn't let a nine-year-old go off with a stranger'.

'That's what doesn't add up,' Ms Stein responded.

The trial has previously heard Ms Mutten was three to four months pregnant when her then-fiancé allegedly shot her daughter in the face.

Ms Mutten was also suicidal when she was admitted to Blue Mountains Memorial Hospital on January 14, 2022, just two days after Charlise, 9, was reported missing to police.

Psychiatrist Dr Pauline Byrne told NSW Supreme Court in Parramatta that she attended Ms Mutten that afternoon who was 'distressed [and] overwhelmed'.

Ms Mutten had told medical staff about her pregnancy and reported 'lower abdominal pain'.

But she said the 'emergency department ... assessed (her) and there was a decision she didn't require a medical admission'.

Ms Mutten then 'requested to see mental health' and was admitted 'as a voluntary patient', Dr Byrne told the court on Wednesday.

It was not made clear in court what subsequently happened with her pregnancy.

Charlise Mutten (pictured) was allegedly murdered by Justin Stein

Kallista was engaged to Justin Stein and pregnant with his child when Charlise, her nine-year-old daughter, vanished and the child's remains were found in a barrel just days later

Dr Byrne agreed that Ms Mutten's suicidal ideation related to her daughter Charlise, and that 'If something happened, I will do something'.

Stein denies murdering Charlise, but admits disposing of her body.

He is accused of murdering Charlise at his family's luxury property, Wildenstein, in the NSW Blue Mountains and then is alleged to have concealed the child's body in a plastic barrel and dumped it 50km away on the banks of the Colo River.

Read More Charlise Mutten's mother breaks down and flees the courtroom in tears after being accused of murdering her nine-year-old daughter: 'You shot and killed her'

The girl was visiting her mother during the school holidays, and spent her time in NSWbetween Wildenstein and Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park in LowerPortland where Stein owned a van.

Dr Byrne said there was no apparent psychosis in Ms Mutten but she was 'confused about her situation ... about a number of factors.

'She didn't have phone, wallet, ID, was unable to contact family or her partner.'

The day after being told her daughter's body had been found and Stein had been charged with murder,Ms Mutten was discharged from hospital.

But Dr Byrne said Ms Mutten was 'more distressed ... tearful, having trouble speaking at times, because she was sobbing.'

Under cross-examination by Stein's barrister, Carolyn Davenport SC, Dr Byrne agreed that using methylamphetamine could cause temporary psychosis and that Ms Mutten had 'indicated she use drugs in the week prior to her admission'.

Ms Mutten's hospital health records included an entry that she admitted being in a violent domestic relationship in the past, '[but] denies any DV from Justin'.

On the day Ms Mutten was admitted to hospital, Stein attended Penrith police station, where officers seized his mobile phone, clothing, a Van bag with Bunnings receipt inside, and took DNA swabs of his hands and the inside of his cheek.

Kallista Mutten (above) when 12-16 weeks pregnant with Justin Stein's child on the day she reported Charlise, 9, missing and was admitted to hospital with 'abdominal pain'

Kallista Mutten on Tuesday after leaving the courtroom where she was grilled by Justin Stein's lawyer and broke down when asked directly whether she had shot her own daughter

Charlise Mutten's mother was accused in court of killing her daughter Charlise (above) behind a chicken shed

During a cigarette break outside with two detectives, who told him they were 'concerned about the inconsistencies, he said he hadn't been entirely truthful about what had happened,' Detective Sergeant John Lothian told the court.

Stein was taken back in for a second interview, and then arrested, although he was released from police custody in the early hours of January 15, 2022.

Two days later, using co-ordinates police allege came from Stein's phone, they went to the Colo River and recovered the barrel with Charlise's body insideon January 18.

Earlier in the week, the jury heard Ms Mutten's testimony that she and Stein had driven to Sydney to buy meth then had sex in Centennial Park, allegedlyon the day Charlise was shot.

Under cross examination, when Ms Mutten was asked if she had continued to take ice despite being pregnant, she replied: 'A few occasions.'

When asked if that was with 'no concern about the effect on her unborn child', she replied: 'You could say that, yes.'

Ms Mutten also admitted Charlise's father had been an ice user, and she continued to take the drug despite her daughter's visit during the 2022 summer school holidays.

She denied she and Charlise were not getting along in the days before her death, or that she had been told to leave the Stein's Mount Wilson property.

'I chose to leave because I didn't want to be there any more,' she said.

'Yeah, I was very hormonal, I was pregnant. Yeah, I was using, yeah. My emotions were very strong at the time.'

On Tuesday, Ms Mutten broke down in the witness box and fled the courtroom after Ms Davenport accused her of killing Charlise.

She was grilled by Stein's lawyer on Tuesday about her excessive methamphetamine use, including while pregnant with his child.

But at about 11.15am, Carolyn Davenport SC put it to her: 'You shot and killed your daughter', to whichMs Mutten replied, 'Are you serious?'

She then burst into tears, crying out 'I didn't even know where she was shot' before Ms Davenport added that Stein 'had seen you deliver the second shot'.

Ms Mutten then ran from the courtroom after being excused from the witness box while the jury was also temporarily sent out.

Wearing a black top, black skirt and boots, her long blonde hair pinned back off her face, Ms Mutten looked composed but flushed when she returned to the witness box.

Ms Davenport resumed her cross-examination, asking Ms Mutten if Charlise liked chickens and had visited the chicken shed on the Stein property in the evening.

Ms Davenport: 'I want to suggest you followed Charlise behind the shed and that's where you shot her … and Justin came down when you shot her a second time, in the face?'

Ms Mutten said 'no' to both suggestions. She agreed that Stein had taught her how to load and shoot with the guns the couple had stolen from a neighbour's property.

Kallista Mutten pictured outside court on Monday

Kallista Stein (centre) leaves Parramatta court on Monday flanked by supporters who were there to accompany the mother of allegedly murdered schoolgirl, Charlise Mutten

Accused murderer Justin Stein (pictured) is on trial over the death of his former stepdaughter Charlise Mutten

Ms Mutten denied that at the time just before Charlise's alleged murder that Stein had told her the relationship was over when the schoolgirl returned to the custody of her grandparents in Queensland.

Asked about certain items she kept in the Stein property shed, including a pendulum, she rejected the suggestion it was 'witchcraft', or that she believed in the occult.

'I wouldn't say witchcraft, it's spiritual. I believe in a higher power,' she said, and agreed that she could receive messages from the pendulum telling her what to do.

Ms Davenport then asked: 'Did a messenger tell you to kill your daughter?', to which Ms Mutten replied 'no'.

Ms Mutten also kept a purple book where she and Stein wrote notes to each other in the shed.

Justin Stein allegedly drove around Sydney with Charlise's body in a barrel in the back of his ute. (Picture NSW Police)

Read More Charlise Mutten was shot in the face at point blank range, murder trial told, as grisly new details are revealed of the 'charming, chatty and affectionate' young girl's last moments

In one entry around Christmas, 2021, after arguments with Stein stemming from his mother's criticisms of her, Ms Mutten wrote about ending her life.

The entry said: 'I'm going to do everyone a favour and leave this cruel world. Please keep Charlise in your life.

'I'm sorry for being a bad mum and dragging you down. Good things will come your way now I'm gone. It's me, not you. Now the bad juju is gone … those dark people will let you go. I love you Justin forever.'

The entry said: 'I'm going to do everyone a favour and leave this cruel world. Please keep Charlise in your life.

The trial before Justice Helen Wilson continues.

Shock courtroom claim about schoolgirl's tragic death (2024)
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