Rajwinder Singh is finally in Australia to face court for the alleged murder of Toyah Cordingley on October 22, 2018.
Rajwinder, who has maintained his innocence, of his own volition, decided to circumvent the years’ long extradition proceedings and expressed his desire to be flown back to Australia to clear his name.
On the day Toyah’s body was discovered, Rajwinder flew to Sydney and then to India and never got back although his family lived in Queensland, Australia.
According to the Queensland police, he had absconded and was required to come back to Australia to face the murder trial.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) worked with Indian Law Enforcement agencies to arrest Rajwinder Singh, wanted for the murder of a Queensland woman Toyah Cordingley, on 22 October, 2018.
The AFP Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (FAST) and AFP New Delhi worked actively assisting QPS in the search and arrest of Rajwinder Singh accused of Toyha’s murder.
According to sources, Rajwinder had been avoiding apprehension in the Punjab region in India since travelling to Amritsar on 23 October, 2018.
In March 2021, an extradition request was approved by the former Australian Attorney-General and presented to the Government of India who accepted the request.
After more than 19 months month’s wait and no progress, on 3 November, 2022, a $1 million reward was announced by QPS and Police Minister Mark Ryan for information leading to the arrest of this man.
And exactly 3 weeks later, Rajwinder was arrested.
Between 27 October and 8 November, 2022 QPS officers travelled to India and in conjunction with AFP New Delhi had direct engagement with Indian Law enforcement to share information with the intent to arrest the man.
The reward of $1 million did the trick. Police received information on the whereabouts of the individual and on 25 November, Rajwinder was arrested by in New Delhi.
Although he has been arrested and is in custody, his arrival in Queensland may be some time away. Rajwinder’s extradition orders will have to be cleared by the Indian courts before he could be put on a flight to Australia.
Having moved to Australia many years ago along with his brothers and parents who all live in Queenslad, Rajwinder Singh 38, worked as a geriatric nurse in Innisfail.
He is married and has three children. He reportedly fled to India after allegedly murdering Toyah Cordingley.
Reports suggest Rajwinder had had a fight at home that morning and had left home in anger to go for a walk on the beach.
Toyha Cordingley was also walking her dog at the same beach. Some reports suggest her dog started barking at Rajwinder who got irate and the argument followed.
Some reports also suggest he had a knife on him at the time. During the ensuing argument, Toyha lost her life and Rajwinder fled from Australia.
An Indian website claimed his wife, children and siblings in Australia have told police he has not contacted them ever since he left. Neither has he used any of his bank accounts.
That was what was making his tracking so difficult. Now he awaits extradition to Australia to face court and stand trial for Toyha’s murder.
Rajwinder’s Decision to come back
In an official statement to the Delhi District Court in January, Rajwinder said he wanted to be extradited as soon as possible to contest the charge.
He had reportedly told news agency AAP “I did not kill the woman”.
“I want to go back. It is the (Indian) judicial system that has been holding things up.”
He was flown into Melbourne and then by a charter flight he was flown to Queensland where he has been charged with the a single count of murder of Toyah Conrdingley and will now face court to contest the charges.
Rajwinder appeared from a police cell by a video link.He did not enter a plea.
Prosecutors told Magistrate Cathy McLennan they will provide the defense with a brief of evidence by April 14.
Rajwinder only spoke when McLennan asked if he could hear the court proceedings. He replied: “Yes, madam.”
The pre-trial hearing is schedule for April 28.
Rajwinder did not apply for bail.
The local community had kept the pressure on to seek justice for Toyah along with her family. They say they would never give up in their quest for justice for Toyah Cordingley.
In October last year, family, friends and the wider community marked the fourth anniversary of Ms Cordingley’s death with a service at the memorial site built by her loved ones at Wangetti Beach.
Family spokesman David Trimble told NCA NewsWire they think of her everyday.
“She’d probably be married now or have kids. She loved animals, so she would probably be working with them,” he said.
He added: “The community, the family and the authorities will never give up on it and I mean that.
“It was horrific what happened and it really stung the community here.
“It was on our doorstep and it was absolutely terrible, it shook a lot of people.”