Man charged over cold case murder remanded in custody

A man charged with the cold case murder of an elderly Gold Coast resident will remain behind bars.

Philip Michael Stearman, a former resident of the Gold Coast, was extradited from Tasmania on Tuesday where he was charged with one count of murder.

He made a brief appearance in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday where he was remanded in custody.


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The 62-year-old will return to court on March 23.

Hugo Benscher was found bound and gagged on the floor at his canal-front Paradise Point home on the morning of Sunday, June 21 1992.

The 89-year-old also had a head injury, with police revealing that at the time of the murder there were several burglary and home invasion offences in nearby Gold Coast canal estates.

A full review into the unsolved murder began early last year, involving investigators from the Cold Case Investigation Team, with the assistance of the Gold Coast Criminal Investigation Branch.

Police say despite the breakthrough, the investigation is far from over and are calling for anyone with information to come forward.

“Police believe there are more people who possess information about the murder of Hugo Benscher and may be more willing to give information following today’s arrest,” Detective Senior Sergeant Tara Kentwell told reports on Tuesday.

A reward of $250,000 remains offer for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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