The friend of the missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Toby Loughnane was on trial Monday for murdering his partner in April last year.

“I am not guilty,” he said, appearing in court via a video link from prison.

Ms Hamka, 36, was last seen leaving a supermarket in Brunswick on 10 April 2021 after telling her family she would be visiting a friend in Brighton.

Her body was never found.

A significant stain with a bloody appearance was found on a piece of carpet at the bottom of the stairs at Loughnane’s Brighton home, the court heard.

But no DNA profile could be obtained from the sample, forensic expert Maxwell Jones told the court.

That could be because a small amount of blood had been spread, consistent with situations where a person has tried to clean up blood, he said.

“That may explain why we got such a broad luminol response in that area of ​​carpet,” he said.

Magistrate Johanna Metcalf found that there is sufficient evidence to support a murder conviction after a hearing that began in May.

Another man, Oscar Newman, will also face trial between April 11 and 15 for helping Loughnane avoid arrest.

He has also pleaded not guilty.

Loughnane is in custody, while Newman remains on bail.

Both men are expected to appear before the Victorian Supreme Court on July 19.

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