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Australian man Rodney Lawrence denies murdering Down woman Betty Dixon in 1982

A man accused of murdering Co Down woman Betty Dixon in Australia more than 30 years ago has claimed another man stabbed her to death.

A court in New South Wales was told today that Rodney Lawrence claims that another man, who has since died, murdered Miss Dixon in her apartment. But he also claims that he later tied her up.

The Holywood woman’s body was discovered in her car with multiple stab wounds in bushland near the small community of Ashtonfield, north of Sydney, in 1982. Her hands were tied behind her back with shoe laces.

As he was refused bail yesterday Lawrence shouted out : "I’ll not survive".

He was charged with the murder in late October following a tip off from a member of the public to police in New South Wales.

According to reports in Australia he looked dishevelled when he appeared in court today.

Lawrence’s lawyer applied for bail citing the accused man’s poor health, the conditions where he was being held in custody, the age of the allegation and the fact that he had no criminal history.

However bail was refused and the case was adjourned to January.

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