Lachlan Young out on bail at time of alleged murder of girlfriend

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A man accused of murdering an ex-girlfriend was on bail at the time of the alleged killing.

Teacher Hannah McGuire, 23, was found dead in a burnt-out car near Ballarat in Victoria’s Central Highlands on Friday.

Ms McGuire’s ex-boyfriend Lachlan Young appeared in court on Tuesday charged with murder.

Reports Mr Young was out on bail at the time of the alleged murder have been confirmed to NCA NewsWire by the County Court of Victoria.

Mr Young faced unrelated assault and burglary charges in the County Court, and the matter was due to be called again on May 6.

His father Anthony Young is co-accused in the same alleged burglary.

Ms McGuire’s family owns a pub in the town of Clunes. Ms McGuire and Mr Young had purchased a house together in nearby Ballarat in 2023.

Asked if the fact he was on bail meant there was need for reform, Victorian Premier Jacinta Allen said “a woman has been killed, clearly”, but the allegation of murder was just that, an allegation.

“My advice is that that individual was on bail and it was a bail application that was not opposed by Victoria Police,” she told reporters on Thursday.

The Premier was cautious not to prejudice any further investigation.

“What has happened here is a tragedy for Hannah McGuire’s family, her community who are grieving,” she said.

“This is a tragedy for the broader community, and it speaks to the tragedy that families and communities are experiencing across the country far too often. This is happening far too often.

“Women must have the right to live safely. To live freely. To live without fear from a violent perpetrator.

“It is just unacceptable that we keep seeing too many women lose their lives at the hands of violence it has to stop and that responsibility sits with all of us. And I acknowledge there is work here for government to do and we are doing it.”

The Premier said her government was implementing recommendations from the Family Violence Royal Commission and invested billions of dollars.

Ms Allen also called out every person to speak up when they saw bad behaviour and bullying.

The Victorian parliament passed bail reforms laws in 2023, the Premier noted.

News of Mr Young being on bail at the time of Ms McGuire’s death comes as police resume searching for missing Ballarat mother Samantha Murphy, last seen on February 4.

A man has been charged with Ms Murphy’s murder.

Another Ballarat resident Rebecca Young, a mother of five, was killed by her partner in a suspected murder-suicide on February 16.