Courtney Herron’s dad on ‘unimaginable’ grief
The father of murdered Melbourne woman Courtney Herron has released a black and white photograph of his daughter and a short statement relaying his family's "unimaginable" grief.
John Herron issued the statement through Victoria Police earlier today. It read simply:
Our beloved Courtney was the victim of a fatal assault. A person is now in custody.
My daughter's death is an unimaginable tragedy for our family.
Please respect our right to grieve in private.
He said the family would not be making any further statements.
The message comes five days after the 25-year-old's body was discovered at Royal Park, Parkville. She had been bashed and left near logs for passers-by to find.
Ms Herron, who was struggling with drug addiction and sleeping rough, had been remembered by friends and family as a warm and loving person who always did what she could to help those in need.
Police arrested and charged Henry Hammond, 27, with one count of murder on Sunday night. He faced the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Wearing no shoes, he looked around the courtroom and smiled at the public gallery.
The court heard Mr Hammond had been living on the street since moving from Sydney to Melbourne, suffered "possible delusional disorder" and had ADHD.
Ms Herron's death was met with an outpouring of grief from friends and family, as well as from members of the public who did not know her.
Her ex-boyfriend, Terrick Norris, told The New Daily Ms Herron would "turn up at my door around once a month".
"She was never living on the streets, she was always couch surfing," Mr Norris said.
"I let her stay at mine a bunch of times and so did her mother. But she was addicted to drugs, and sometimes it got a bit too much."
Her friend Jessica Bateman told The Project she was "shocked" and "saddened" by the news of Ms Herron's death.
She said the system failed her friend.
"She was trying to get into public housing, she was trying to get onto methadone or something that would stop the withdrawal symptoms that she was going to face - and the fear of withdrawal is what really kept her using," Ms Bateman said.
"She couldn't even get public housing … Women are more vulnerable than men being homeless. Men can attack them, can take advantage of them, especially when it concerns mental illness and drugs.
"Those two things … it leads to jails, institutions, homelessness and death."
A vigil has been organised for Ms Herron at Royal Park in Parkville from 5-7pm on Friday. Members of the public are urged to attend to pay respects to a young woman's life tragically cut short.