The West

The man charged with the murder of Stephen Cookson, whose severed head was found in a plastic bag on a beach on Rottnest Island, has made a brief appearance in a Perth court.

Aaron Carlino, 28, appeared at Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link, charged with the murder of Mr Cookson, 56, who died on December 15 last year.

State prosecutor Justin Whalley told the court the investigation was spread over several crime scenes and the case was subsequently adjourned until March.

Police have yet to find Mr Cookson's body, despite extensive searches of his East Perth apartment and properties in the Golden Bay area near Mandurah.

The discovery of his head on the holiday island by an 11-year-old girl in January made national headlines, with police making public appeals to help identify the man with a full beard and missing teeth.

It was later identified as Mr Cookson, a racing identity with convictions for drug trafficking and violence.

AAP

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