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Supreme Court lets Australian doctor leave P.E.I. to go home

Justice
Justice

An Australian doctor facing child pornography charges on P.E.I. has been allowed to return home.

Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie ruled Monday to lift a condition that had required Dr. Stephen Peter Menzies Murray to remain on Prince Edward Island to await his trial on charges of possessing, making and distributing child pornography. All of the charges relate solely to written material.

Murray is allowed to stay in Australia until he is required to return to P.E.I. to deal with the charges.

His bail was increased to $75,000 cash from $10,000.

He must check in regularly with the Australian police.

He is also denied access to or use of Internet except for work purposes and communicating with legal counsel or family.

He is not allowed to attend to a public park or other areas where people under 16 years of age are present or are likely to be present, nor may he communicate with anyone under 16 with the exception of his immediate family.

Murray, a 57-year-old skin care specialist from Frenchville, Queensland, was only on P.E.I. for a day or two prior to his arrest earlier this year, according to RCMP.

The RCMP credited assistance from a member of the public with allowing police to quickly begin an investigation and make the arrest before Murray was able to leave the province.

In October, a justice of the peace agreed to release Murray from custody under 10 conditions put forward by Crown attorney Nathan Beck, who voiced concerns at the time that Murray posed a flight risk.

Conditions included Murray wearing an electronic bracelet and remaining outside a 10-kilometre radius of the Confederation Bridge and the Wood Islands ferry terminal as well as staying away from the Charlottetown Airport.

A publication ban in Supreme Court prohibits publication of arguments made Monday by Murray’s lawyer to allow the accused to return to Australia or objections made by the Crown.

RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler, who handed Murray back his passport Tuesday, says there is an “ongoing, active investigation’’ in connection to Murray. Australian police are investigating Murray as well.

The case involving Murray’s current charges will be back in court today.

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