Sarah Gatt: Body seen by female lover six months before grim police find

The female lover of a Melbourne woman who was allegedly murdered and whose remains were found in a bathtub has made shocking claims about seeing a body.

The female lover of an allegedly murdered Melbourne woman claims she saw what may have been her girlfriend’s body in a bathtub six months before police made the gruesome discovery, a court has been told.

The decomposing body of Sarah Gatt was found in the bathtub of her Kensington home in January 2018 when police went to the property in relation to another matter.

Reservoir man Andrew Baker has been charged with her murder and police allege he killed the 40-year-old woman between April 19 and 23, 2017.

The 53-year-old appeared for a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

It is alleged Mr Baker and Ms Gatt were a couple when she died, but she had been in a same-sex relationship with Leona Rei-Paku about a year before the alleged murder.

All three were known each other, according to court documents.

Her former girlfriend said she hadn’t seen her ex since April 2017 but bumped into Mr Baker at a North Melbourne homeless shelter in July, according to a statement tendered in the court proceedings, which was released on Monday.

In the statement, she claims he invited her back to the Kensington unit and told her on the tram there was “a body in the bath”.

“He said come have a look. I didn’t know what to do,” she said in the statement.

At the Kensington unit, Mr Baker allegedly told her “go have a look at the body”, the woman wrote in the statement.

“There was a kind of sheet or something. I lifted up the sheet to have a look and there was a kind of foot or something sticking up,” Ms Rei-Paku said in the statement.

“He goes ‘see how it’s sort of black’ and he pulled the sheet right back”. I was like ‘ewww’ I said ‘f*** I don’t want nothing to do with this’,” she said.

Two weeks later, she went to confront him at the house but claims she was chased away.

Ms Rei-Paku said she wasn’t sure if the body was real, didn’t report it to police but later mentioned it to her social worker.

The last time she saw Ms Gatt was at the Kensington property with Mr Baker where the pair were allegedly using drugs together on April 3.

He told her he was planning on marrying Ms Gatt and asked her why she was hanging around.

“It was getting pretty hostile,” Ms Rei-Paku said in her statement.

She told them “if you’re getting married I’ll get out of her life” before she left the house.

At the hearing, she was quizzed by Mr Baker’s lawyer about whether her relationship with Ms Gatt was “volatile”.

She told the court they had arguments and police had been called on numerous occasions.

The committal hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for Mr Baker to face trial will continue on Wednesday.

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