Justin Stein, who grew up among Sydney’s affluent elite, had a “tortured” life, his mum says, as her son remains behind bars, charged with murdering his stepdaughter.

Annemie Stein said she had not approved of her son’s turbulent relationship with Charlise’s mother, ex-ice addict Kallista Mutten. They had been together for just over a year.

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink, or choose their partners, and sometimes it ends up in a headache like this one,” Ms Stein, 56, said from her home in Sydney’s inner-west.

“Justin’s had a pretty tortured life.”

“It would hurt anyone (to have a child go through this), it doesn’t matter who you are it would hurt you because parents know their children and, you know, as I said, the mother is the one they need to talk to.”

Kallista Mutten remains under medical supervision in hospital.

Kallista’s mother said that Charlise was soon to be her step-granddaughter before she was allegedly murdered and her body stuffed in a barrel. She says was: “A lovely little girl and beautiful little girl and definitely didn’t deserve this.”

Meanwhile, in rural NSW, Justin Stein’s father James Stein revealed he had not seen his son for some time.

James Stein Snr, who split with Annemie Stein more than a decade ago, now runs an antique shop at Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains with his partner. It appears the family has been torn in two for a number of years.

His oldest son, James Jnr, and his partner Keegan Buzza, are also understood not to have seen Justin since about 2016.

Together the Steins still own the luxurious Wildenstein wedding venue where Charlise was staying for a holiday when she went missing.

Having had little to do with his son in recent times, James Stein Snr said he had never met young Charlise, but was left “heartbroken” by her death:

“Absolutely heartbroken. It‘s a tragedy. I’d never met her, so there you go.

“I‘m a father… I hope you never have to go through circumstances like these.”

Ms Mutten lost custody of Charlise in 2018 while she was serving a minimum of two years two months for dangerous driving causing death while high on ice.

Image: 9News

This article first appeared on OverSixty.