‘It’s a set-up,’ son declares in pleading not guilty to murder

A man accused of murdering his elderly mother has declared himself “innocent” and called the case against him “a set-up” as he pleaded not guilty. He will now fight the charge at trial.

Thomas Bednar, 53, appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday via a video link and pleaded not guilty to murdering Judy Bednar earlier this year.

Police allege Mr Bednar murdered his 78-year-old mother between May 12 and May 15.

Ms Bednar’s body was discovered in her Chelsea home on May 15 by police officers conducting a welfare check. Her son was arrested two days later, then charged with murder.

Mr Bednar, who lived a few streets away from his mother, waived his right to a substantial hearing before a magistrate and chose to take his case to trial.

Asked on Monday to enter a plea he said: “I am innocent, it’s a set-up, and I am pleading not guilty, and the case is very weak for the prosecution”.

Mr Bednar continued talking but magistrate Tara Hartnett politely cut him off, then remanded him in custody to appear before the Supreme Court on October 20, when a tentative date for his trial will be set.

Mr Bednar was smiling and appeared relaxed before his hearing began as he chatted with his lawyer before the magistrate came online.

Ms Bednar came to Australia as a young girl with her family from Hungary after her parents survived the Holocaust and then the Hungarian uprising of 1956.

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