News State QLD News Lionel Patea gets life sentence for Tara Brown’s murder

Lionel Patea gets life sentence for Tara Brown’s murder

tara brown murder
The court was told Tara Brown wanted to break-up with Lionel Patea in 2015. Photo: ABC
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Former Bandido bikie Lionel Patea has been sentenced to life in prison for the bashing murder of his ex-partner Tara Brown on the Gold Coast.

Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins handed down the decision a short time ago after Patea, 25, pleaded guilty on Monday morning.

Patea showed no emotion in the packed courtroom as Justice Mullins recounted the details of his attack on Ms Brown.

“Ms Brown lost her life in your hands in a brutal way,” Justice Mullins told the court.

“Ms Brown was the fatal victim of your domestic violence. She lost her life at your hands in a traumatic and brutal way.

“She will not now have the joy of seeing her daughter grow up or fulfil the promise of the life that she had led until she was killed by you.”

Ms Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton was crying quietly as she heard how Patea thumped her daughter’s head and pushed away people who tried to stop him.

Earlier, the court heard how Patea ran Ms Brown’s car off a road at Molendinar on the Gold Coast in September 2015.

She was trapped in her upturned car and Patea bashed her with a metal plate.

The 24-year-old mother of one died a day later in hospital.

“You have to live every day of your life knowing that you deprived Ms Brown of her life and your daughter of her mother,” Justice Mullins said.

Justice Mullins said the community denounced domestic violence, and that it was important to protect the Queenslanders from Patea and send a message to others like him.

She said his guilty plea made no difference to the life sentence she handed down.

Patea and Ms Brown had been in a relationship since 2011 and had a daughter in 2012.

The court heard how Patea chased Ms Brown at high speed through the Gold Coast after she dropped their daughter at day care.

Patea turned himself in to police about 30 minutes after the attack with self-inflicted stab wounds and told police about “doing something bad”.

Tara Brown
The 24-year-old mother-of-one died in hospital. Photo: Instagram

Patea’s statement read aloud by lawyer

Outside court before the sentence was handed down, Patea’s solicitor Campbell MacCallum read a statement from his client, saying he pleaded guilty to avoid causing more pain to Ms Brown’s family.

“Today I appear before the court to accept full responsibility for my actions against Tara Brown,” the statement read.

“I do this knowing the enormous pain I have caused Tara’s family, her loved ones, and also my own family who love Tara deeply.

“I accept without reservation the punishment imposed on me by the justice system today. I will also be ultimately judged by God.

“I know Tara will never be forgotten, nor will I ever be forgiven. I now live only for my daughter Aria.”

Mr MacCallum said the Department of Child Safety would determine when Patea had access to his daughter.

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