Former partner charged with murdering mother of two

A Bayswater North man has been charged with murdering his former partner, who was the mother of their two children and expecting their third.

Michelle Darragh, 32, died at the home of her ex-partner, Benjamin Coman, 29, on October 9.

Michelle Darragh has been remembered as a loving mother, sister and daughter.

The pair had two young sons together and another child on the way but had split weeks ago, Ms Darragh’s grieving family said.

Emergency services were called to the Huntington Avenue property in Melbourne’s east about 7.30pm. They found the pair inside, both with life-threatening injuries.

Mr Coman appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday from the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Staff held the phone receiver to his ear as magistrate Matthew White remanded him in custody.

”I’m having trouble hearing,” he told the court via video link, his voice close to a whisper.

Ben Coman appeared by phone for a filing hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.Credit:Facebook

Mr White asked Mr Coman’s lawyer, Jack Rabl, if there were any issues that custodial authorities needed to be aware of when he was taken into police custody.

“They are redundant,” Mr Rabl told the court, saying his client would soon be transferred to St Augustine’s secure ward at St Vincent’s hospital, where he would remain in police custody while being treated.

Mr White questioned whether the hearing could go on given Mr Coman’s difficultly understanding proceedings, but Mr Rabl assured the court he had taken substantial instructions on Tuesday morning.

Ms Darragh, from The Basin, died at the scene on October 9 and Mr Coman was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Police at the scene.Credit:Nine News

Ms Darragh’s family said they wanted the public to remember her as “the most beautiful soul that you could ever get”.

“She lived for her kids and family and always put other people first in front of her own self. We will always remember her beautiful nature and her infectious smile that lit the room up when she walked into it,” a family member told The Age last week.

She adored her sons, they said, and dedicated her life to them.

Mr Coman did not apply for bail. His lawyers, Victoria Legal Aid, will be served with a brief of evidence against the father of two on or before February 8. He will next face court on March 22 next year.

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