–Man accused of killing father Marcus Rowley at train station is mentally unwell, court hears

August 13, 2017

The man accused of killing a father-of-three Marcus Rowley at a Melbourne train station is mentally unwell and withdrawing from drugs, his lawyer says.

Mr Rowley was the cousin of Australian soldier Natasha Rowley, who was found dead in a shower at a hotel buck’s party in Melbourne’s CBD last month.

Soldier’s cousin dies in stabbing attack

The man fatally attacked at a train station in Melbourne’s west on Saturday night was a cousin of the woman found dead at a hotel buck’s party last month. Vision: Seven News

Mr Rowley, 24, had returned from his cousin’s Perth funeral only three days before he was attacked at Tottenham station in West Footscray on Saturday night.

The circumstances surrounding the attack on Mr Rowley remain unclear even after a court hearing on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Avondale Heights man charged with Mr Rowley’s murder did not face Melbourne Magistrates Court, with his lawyer saying he was too mentally unwell to do so.

The charged man, who has no fixed address, was not named in court and referred to only by his initials.

Defence counsel Ann Valos requested her client not be brought into the courtroom and instead remain in his cell.

Ms Valos said the accused man had psychiatric illnesses and was withdrawing from drugs. He was also on prescribed medication, she said.

The accused man was remanded to face court in January.

Mr Rowley’s former partner, Caris Miles, revealed the connection between the late cousins on Monday.

Ms Miles said Mr Rowley was close to his cousin Natasha, but they didn’t see each other much because she lived in Perth.

Mr Rowley posted a picture of himself and Natasha on Facebook on July 18, two days after she was found dead in the shower of a room at The Oaks on Market apartments.

The room had been rented by a group of 11 men from ACT and NSW on a buck’s night. Ms Rowley’s funeral was held on August 1.

Four days later, Mr Rowley was killed.

Paramedics were called to Ashley Street in West Footscray about 7pm on Saturday night.

When they arrived, people at the scene were trying to resuscitate Mr Rowley.

He could not be revived. A source told Fairfax Media the man had been stabbed.

They said there had been a “meeting” involving the man on one of the train platforms, but Ms Miles said the attack had been random.

Ms Miles said he had been a loving father to his three children.

“He was such a good person. He made his fair share of mistakes but he learned from them and was turning his life around,” she said.

Mr Rowley’s friends remembered his cheeky face and lovely soul as they posted tributes to him on social media.

“Beautiful man, beautiful soul. Forever will you be in our hearts,” Nelly Ingram posted. 

Detectives have also spoken to a 31-year-old Brunswick woman in relation to Mr Rowley’s death.

She was released pending further inquiries.

Anyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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