A convicted murderer and prime suspect in the cold-case murder of Toowoomba teenager Annette Mason has told a coronial inquest into her death that he is willing to take a lie-detector test on the matter.
The 15-year-old was found bludgeoned to death in her house in November 1989 after a night out with friends.
A previous inquest found there wasn’t enough evidence to find anyone responsible for her death.
Allan McQueen, described by police officers and counsel assisting the coroner Adrian Braithwaite as a prime suspect in the police investigation, was sentenced to life in prison 24 years ago for killing a prisoner at Sir David Longland jail (now Brisbane Correctional Centre) and was recently released on parole.
He appeared in person at the Coroner’s Court in Brisbane on Thursday afternoon.
Asked by the coroner if he wanted to claim privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to answer questions, McQueen replied: “That’s correct, yes”.
McQueen then turned and looked directly at the Mason family and said he had offered to take a lie-detector test in 2003.
“I don’t understand why you refused that offer,” he said.
“There was to be no lawyers involved, no courtrooms involved and you refused that offer.
“Here I sit here today as the prime suspect and have been given advice from my lawyers not to answer questions.
“Is that offer still on the table?
“There was no strings attached. Would you like me to take it today?”
Mr Braithwaite then objected to McQueen’s offer and he was excused from the court.
Lawyer Leanne McDonald issued a statement on behalf of the Mason family, rejecting McQueen’s assertion.
“The Mason family has never received an offer from Allan McQueen to take a lie-detector test in relation to his involvement in the murder of Annette Mason,” the statement said.
“Mr McQueen’s outburst in the court today was the first the family has ever heard of this offer.”
Stepbrother denies alleged confession
Earlier, McQueen’s stepbrother Craig Gill told the inquest his sibling never confessed to him to murdering the teenager.
“Have you ever had any conversations with Allan about Annette’s murder?” Mr Braithwaite asked.
“No, I haven’t,” Mr Gill replied.
“It became known to you obviously, relatively early after her murder, that Allan was a suspect in that,” Mr Braithwaite said.
“Wouldn’t it ordinarily be the case that a couple of brothers might talk to each other about if one of them is suspected?”
Mr Gill replied: “He was in jail sort of a lot, I was in jail. We were a bit separate”.
Earlier this week, witness Kylie Nothdurft told the inquest she heard McQueen admit to killing Ms Mason at a gathering in 1990 and said Mr Gill got angry and told him to be quiet.
Mr Gill said he could not recall telling his stepbrother to “shut the f— up”.
He also denied that his mother created an alibi for McQueen.
Mr Gill told the court he understood there were some witnesses who were frightened to give evidence against McQueen, but that he had not heard of any threats towards anyone.