Woman bashed to death because attacker ‘felt like it’, court hears

A young woman was bashed to death in Brisbane’s CBD because her attacker “just felt like it,” a Supreme Court jury has heard.

Korean student Eunji Ban was  set upon by Alex McEwan, then 19, on her way to work in November 2013.

McEwan is now on trial, but his defence will argue it wasn’t murder because of his mental state.

Ms Ban, 22, had only been in Australia for a matter of weeks when she was killed by the stranger.

Eunji Ban had only been in Australia a matter of weeks before she was killed. Source: 7News

She left her unit at the Roma Street Parklands just before 4am on the Sunday to start work as a cleaner at the Transcontinental Hotel.

Within an hour, she was dead.

The Queensland Supreme Court jury was told McEwan had bashed her, dragged her body up a set of stairs, and left her in Wickham Park.

Alex McEwan’s defence has argued he was mentally unwell at the time of the attack.Source: 7 News

Her family was in court when images of the blood-covered stairs were shown.

On Monday the friends McEwan had confided in gave evidence.

Hayden Buchanan repeated a conversation he had with McEwan, just minutes after the killing.

“He said … ‘I just went for a walk and killed someone, killed a chick’,” Mr Buchanan told the court.

“I said, ‘why did you kill a chick?’ He said, ‘I just felt like it’.”

Eunji Ban’s family were in court as distressing images from the crime scene were shown. Source: AAP
A forensic investigator takes photos at the crime scene in November 2013. Source: 7News

On Monday McEwan pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

His lawyers will argue he did kill her, but wasn’t mentally well enough to be totally responsible.

McEwan’s friends, H ayden Buchanan (left) and Luke Appleton (right), gave evidence in court on Monday. Source: AAP

“Mr McEwan’s out of character extreme violence was caused by his mental illness,” barrister John Allen told the jury.

His friends also testified their peer was a placid and kind young man.

McEwan’s immediate family, psychologists and medical professionals will be called upon to give evidence as the trial continues.