As she was led away by officers, Ms Smith told Nine News she did not have anything “at all” to do with Mr McCarthy’s death. “I wouldn’t do that, he’s my friend,” she said.
Ms Smith was taken to Maroubra Police Station where she was charged with murder and dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception. The second charge related to the use of Mr McCarthy’s Opal card.
Her matter was heard before Waverley Local Court on Tuesday, where she was denied bail and it was formally refused. Her matter will return to court on March 9.
Mr McCarthy’s son, James, told Nine News on Tuesday his father had been a “great dad and an amazing grandfather to my two sons.”
“[He was] a typical Aussie larrikin … but with a well mannered twist – he was always trying to help whoever he could help,” he said. “He was just a really kind-hearted, gentle guy.”
“Dad was one of those people – even though he was retired, if anyone needed anything in regards to legal advice or whatever, he’d always be more than happy to help in any way he could.”
Homicide squad commander Danny Doherty said on Monday Ms Smith was known to Mr McCarthy and lived nearby.
“What I can say is that there is significant forensic and physical evidence to make this a strong and compelling case,” he said. “Mr McCarthy suffered severe head and facial injuries.”
Three days after Mr McCarthy’s body was found, Ms Smith told 10 News First she had been with Mr McCarthy on the night of December 17 to celebrate her birthday. She added the retired solicitor had given her legal advice for an upcoming court matter. “It was for my birthday at his place, had a bit of a shindig, dinner, helping me out with my case the next day,” she said.
Mr McCarthy was last seen at Club York, on York Street in Sydney’s CBD, on the afternoon of December 16, between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Detective Superintendent Doherty said in December that Mr McCarthy would sometimes frequent the venue at least three times a week.
He said Mr McCarthy as a “knockabout” man who “liked having a drink, liked having a bet down at the local” and was a well-liked man in his beachside suburb.
He said Mr McCarthy was a “gregarious person” who was always in contact with people, and for others not to have heard from him for a number of days was unusual.
Earlier, police released CCTV of a man and a woman whom they are asking to come forward. Detective Superintendent Doherty ruled out that the woman depicted in the footage was the one who had been arrested on Monday and that investigations into the pair were ongoing.
The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, with a medium build and light brown hair. He is wearing black pants, black sneakers, a black Raiders singlet top and glasses.
The woman is described as being of Caucasian appearance, with a slim to medium build and light-coloured hair. She is wearing a black top, black hooded-jumper, black pants, black sneakers and a black face mask.
Laura is a crime reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.