The Launceston Supreme Court is expected to hear at least four murder cases within the next two years.
Since late 2016, police have investigated seven alleged killings in the North.
Of those seven, only two have gone to trial.
An investigation over the past two weeks into the death of a 24-year-old man, who was allegedly shot and dismembered, was the second murder case in Launceston in less than six months.
Jake Anderson-Brettner’s torso was found days after he was reported missing from Riverside.
His accused killer Jack Harrison Sadler remains in custody.
The 26-year-old Riverside man was charged with murder, but has yet to enter a plea.
A 25-year-old Riverside woman, Gemma Clark, will appear in the Supreme Court for a directions hearing in October after pleading not guilty to being an accessory after the fact.
The alleged crime followed the death of a man at Prospect Vale in March.
Kings Meadows man Joshua Josef Barker has denied deliberately running over and killing Dale James Watson in broad daylight on a suburban street.
Prior to the alleged murders at Prospect Vale and Riverside, detectives had investigated five killings within seven months.
The first was in October 2016 when Lottah man Kerry Bilston shot his neighbour in the back of the head.
The 65-year-old man denied murdering Dean Manshanden, but after a trial in October last year he was found guilty and jailed for 19 years, with a non-parole period of 10 years.
A month after Bilston killed Mr Manshanden, a Newnham man was found dead at his home in November 2016.
It has been alleged Aaron Matthew Monaco was stabbed to death.
Ravenswood woman Belinda Leone Colbran, 39, and Newnham man Nathan Thomas Smith, 32, have pleaded not guilty.
It was expected the case would go to trial later this year.
The third murder came a month later, in December 2016, when Peter Fitzgerald was stomped to death at his Summerhill home.
His killer, Anthony Colin Finnegan, was found guilty last week after a more than two-week trial.
The pair had been drinking together when a fight broke out and Finnegan snapped.
The victim drowned in his own blood after his attacker stomped on his head, kicked him multiple times and left him to die on his laundry room floor.
Finnegan has been in custody since December 1, 2016 – the day he killed Mr Fitzgerald.
Justice Michael Brett is expected to sentence him next month.
The next case unfolded in February last year, when a missing person investigation became a murder probe.
Mowbray man Bradley Breward had been missing for two months before his body was found at Lake Eugenana.
It has been alleged the 22-year-old was bashed and suffocated with a plastic bag before his body was taken to the North-West and dumped in the water.
A trial is expected within the next year, with South Launceston man Ricky John Izard and West Launceston man Mark Rodney Jones having pleaded not guilty to murder.
Two months after Mr Breward’s body was discovered, police found the body of another Northern man.
Tyson Timothy Clark-Robertson had also been reported missing.
The 24-year-old had not been seen for nearly a year before the case was upgraded to murder.
Police found him buried in a shallow grave in a backyard at Mayfield.
Three people were charged over the discovery, but the trial is still pending.
Ian Rosewall, of Mayfield, pleaded not guilty to murder and another man, Robert William Broad, pleaded not guilty to failing to report a killing.
Renae Lorraine Donald is facing a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
The backlog of murder trials comes as the Launceston Supreme Court continues to deal with a rising caseload.
The total number of Supreme Court cases was expected to reach 570 by the end of the financial year.
During budget estimates this year it was revealed those figures would amount to an 11 per cent increase in workload, despite five acting judges being appointed for two years to assist with the problem.
While the court cases continue to pile up, Tasmania Police’s 2017-18 annual report showed a decrease in serious crimes in the North.
It also showed an increase in crime clearance rates.
The statistics revealed 127 serious crimes in the North, 83.5 per cent or 106 of which were cleared.
During the previous financial year, there were 170 serious crimes in the North, and nearly 80 per cent of those were cleared.
On Tuesday, the latest Crime Statistics Supplement revealed overall offence clearance rates had exceeded 50 per cent – for the first time in more than 45 years.
Not commenting on a specific case, but speaking about serious crime in general, Northern District Commander Brett Smith said in the majority of Tasmanian cases the alleged offenders and their alleged victims were involved in some type of criminal activity.
For the most part, he said drugs were a common factor in investigations.
“Unfortunately, 2016, saw an unusually high number of serious crimes in a short space of time, which is quite unusual and certainly not reflective of the community we live in,” he said.
“On all occasions, police intervention was swift with resolutions on all matters to date, none are outstanding investigations.
“Several were quite complex in nature yet effective results were achieved.
“At the same time, our people still kept on with business as usual and today, we enjoy the lowest levels of reported crime in quite some years.”
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