Mum of accused child killer stuns court

Annemie Stein, the mother of Justin Stein, arriving at court. Picture: NewsWire / David Swift

The mother of alleged killer Justin Stein has denied claims she made up evidence, telling the court she heard a “cheeky” voice she believed to be of Charlise Mutten in the background of a phone call at a time prosecutors allege the schoolgirl was already dead.

Mr Stein is facing trial after pleading not guilty to murder, but has admitted to disposing of the nine-year-old girl’s body.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering the daughter of his former fiancee, Kallista Mutten, at a property owned by his parents before dumping her body, which was concealed in a plastic barrel, near the Colo River.

But he claims he saw Ms Mutten shoot her daughter at the family property on the night of January 12, after the couple spent the day together injecting ice and having sex at Sydney’s Centennial Park. Ms Mutten has denied shooting her daughter.

After taking to the witness stand on Thursday, Mr Stein’s mother Annemie Stein denied claims she made up evidence to “assist” her son following his charge.

Charlise Mutten was allegedly murdered.
Charlise Mutten was allegedly murdered.
Supplied Editorial Justin Stein and Kallista Mutten. She is the mother of missing girl Charlise Mutten and he is the fiancee. Picture: Facebook
Justin Stein is accused of killing the schoolgirl.


While she told the court she couldn’t recollect many phone calls from the time, Annemie told the court she “definitely” remembered a call she received from her son on the night of January 12.

“I don’t know who rang who...he said that he picked up Kallista and Charlise from the caravan park and that they were back in Mount Wilson and I was not happy about that at all,” Annemie told the jury.

“He just said ‘mum relax it’s just for one night, tomorrow i’m taking them to Kallista’s friends’.”

She told the court she heard someone in the background yell “Narelle it’s only one night”.

When asked by Mr McKay who the voice was, she said it was “cheeky”.

“To the best of my knowledge it was cheeky, the way it was said was cheeky, so to me that was the little girl,” she said, referring to Charlise.

The jury was then played footage of Annemie’s interview with on the night of January 14, the day Charlise was reported missing.

Annemie Stein (left) gave evidence in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday. Picture: NewsWire / David Swift


In the footage, played to the jury, Annemie tells police: “I said why are they in Mount Wilson, he goes ‘Mum it’s fine it’s only for one night’, I said no I’m not happy about that but when you’re two hours away there’s not much you can do about it”.

An officer then asks her if she could hear anyone in the background, to which she says: “No”.

Crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC suggested Annemie did not hear a voice in the background during the phone call, but she insisted she “definitely did”.

“You didn’t say to police, when Justin tells you about a woman coming to the property, ‘I actually heard Charlise on the night’, you didn’t tell them,” Mr McKay said.

Annemie said she “thought” she had told police the detail.

Mr McKay told the court the first time Annemie had made a statement about what she heard in the background was this week.

She said she amended her statement because there was “a lot that didn’t make sense”.

COURT - Kallista Mutten
Kallista Mutten faced her daughter’s alleged killer earlier this week. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“What I’m suggesting to you is that your answer about hearing a voice in the background, having not told police on 14 January in that interview, in fact saying you did not hear voices in the background, this is something you have added to your evidence to assist your son after being aware of the police allegation against your son,” Mr McKay said.

She responded: “No”.

Under cross-examination from defence barrister Tim Kent, Annemie told the court the relationship between Ms Mutten and her daughter wasn’t “as it should be”.

“The way she was with her child ... the aggression she showed her child, it wasn’t a comfortable mother-daughter relationship as it should be,” she said.


The jury heard Annemie had attended Katoomba Police Station on February 17, 2022, where she spoke to a detective and was shown photographs of firearms police discovered near the Mount Wilson property.

Mr McKay said the detective told Annemie the fatal gunshot “appears consistent” with a rifle found.

“You said, ‘she was shot twice, wasn’t she, that’s what’s been reported?” Mr McKay told Annemie.

Annemie said she “did not recall” saying that.

The court heard the detective told Annemie police had only reported that Charlise “died from a gunshot injury, we have not disclosed any information”.

Annemie was told phone calls between herself and Mr Stein from his time in custody following the charge had been played to the jury, where she told her son she had seen the police fact sheet.

“No, I didn’t have the fact sheet,” Ms Stein responded.

She then told the court she hadn’t received the fact sheet from police but rather from a lawyer engaged for her son at the time.

Justin Stein is accused of driving around Sydney with Charlise’s body in the back of his ute in a barrel. Picture: NSW Police
Justin Stein is accused of driving around Sydney with Charlise’s body in the back of his ute in a barrel. Picture: NSW Police

Mr McKay said she had become aware what police were alleging “as to the time” Charlise had been allegedly killed.

“When you read the fact sheet you saw that the police were alleging by way of the fact as to when Charlise was killed,” Mr McKay said.

She responded: “No”.

Earlier in her evidence, Annemie told the court Charlise was a “very polite” girl, but also a “bit cheeky”.

In her evidence this week, Ms Mutten told the jury Mr Stein told her Charlise woke up vomiting in the early hours of January 12 and left her in the care of a female auctioneer before leaving to spend the day together.

The pair spent the day injecting ice and having sex, before the jury heard they arrived back at the Mount Wilson property about 8.44pm to find no-one home.

The jury heard Mr Stein claimed he left about 4pm on January 13 to search for Charlise but prosecutors allege he dumped the barrel with Charlise’s body.

The barrel with Charlise’s body was found on January 18, 2022, after police went to the location as a result of going through Mr Stein’s phone.

The trial continues.