Three men who killed two people by locking them inside a toolbox and dumping them in a south-east Queensland dam, have been sentenced to life in prison.
Last week, a Supreme Court jury found Trent Thrupp, Stou Daniels and Davy Taiao, guilty of the murders and torture of Iuliana Triscaru and Cory Breton.
Waylon Walker was also on trial with the men, but was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter and has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.
The bodies of Mr Breton, 28, and Ms Triscaru, 31, were found submerged in Scrubby Creek in Logan in February 2016 – more than two weeks after they were last seen alive.
During a three-week trial in Brisbane, the court heard the pair had been lured to a Kingston townhouse on at Daniels’ direction.
Daniels believed Mr Breton was setting him up in relation to selling drugs.
Once inside, the pair were beaten and bound with zip ties then forced into the metal box where they remained for hours, until they were loaded onto the back of a ute.
Witnesses told the court, the pair were kicking and screaming from inside the toolbox, before they were driven to the dam by Thrupp and another man, who used tyres and rocks to sink it.
Their bodies were so badly decomposed doctors could not determine an exact cause of death, but concluded the pair had likely drowned or died from asphyxiation.
‘Senseless and inhumane’
In emotional victim impact statements read in court by family members, Mr Breton and Ms Triscaru were described as loving and caring people.
Mr Breton’s mother-in-law, Lois Platt, said she still struggled to comprehend the “senseless and inhumane” deaths.
“Disbelief, great sorrow, anger and hurt were just some of the emotions we all felt,” the statement read.
“You will never know the pain of having to explain to your grandchild that bad people had hurt her daddy and he would not be coming home ever.”
Mr Breton’s sister, Tamara Breton, told the court her brother was a “selfless” man.
“He had a big heart with so much love for his friends and family,” she said.
“Cory was the glue that held our family together and this tragedy has absolutely destroyed it.”
Mr Breton’s widow, Miranda Parkinson said it had been a “painful” five years.
“We haven’t been able to say goodbye properly, to mourn, to go through a grieving process,” she said.
Ms Parkinson said Mr Breton had an “amazing” bond with his daughter and it was difficult to tell her what had happened.
“She deserves the truth, we all do,” she said.
Ms Triscaru’s mother, Victoria Duga’s statement said her daughter’s death “will always haunt me”.
“Words cannot express how much I miss her, I struggle every day,” she said.
“My body is physically aching and my heart is broken – I will never be able to get over this.”
A drawing from Mr Breton’s daughter, who was three when he died, was also shown to the court, which included three stick figures and the words “I love dad very much”.
Eight people were charged in relation to the deaths and all of them have been convicted for their roles.