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Gladstone man used sword to kill mum, court told

Roxane Gilbert.
Roxane Gilbert. Contributed

A SAMURAI sword was the weapon of choice for a Gladstone man who allegedly murdered his mother and dumped her body near the Calliope River, Rockhampton Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Horace Lorenzo Lyken Jones was only 19 when the body of his mother, Roxane Gilbert, was found wrapped in a blue tarpaulin in the backseat of her car on June 29, 2012, with 31 stab wounds.

On Monday he pleaded not guilty to her murder.

Prosecutor Todd Fuller said Ms Gilbert, who was also known as Roxane Jones, had fallen out with her eldest son because of her "erratic behaviour and lifestyle choices".

But apparently the final straw came on June 29, 2012, when Ms Gilbert hung up on one of Jones's friends who called the house.

As Ms Gilbert, 38, sat on the couch, Jones allegedly struck her in the head with the ornamental sword, which was on display in his bedroom.

As she stood up he allegedly slashed her neck, before slitting her throat when she fell to the ground, pleading for him to stop.

The court heard Jones then began cleaning up the mess before Gilbert began to move again, which led him to allegedly stab her twice in the chest with the sword and another knife.

An autopsy revealed her skull had been chipped and her lung punctured.

When Jones went to his house later that day and allegedly told his friends he had killed her, they thought he was joking.

Her body was found in the backseat of her car the next day with a plastic bag over her head and her hands zip-tied, wrapped in a plastic sheet and then covered in a blue tarpaulin.

The car had been dumped in a swampy area near the Calliope River, about 100m from a dirt road, with its nose partly in the water.

The court heard Ms Gilbert struggled with mental health issues and was an alcoholic who at times had an "explosive temper".

At the time of the murder Jones was living with Ms Gilbert's former partner, Svend Nexo, who took him in after his mother kicked him out.

Ms Gilbert was living in Bundaberg, but would also stay at Nexo's house when she was in Gladstone, and had been there for several weeks at the time of the attack.

Witness Damien Martin, who alerted the police, recalled how he found the body in the car after an afternoon of fishing and felt the tarpaulin in the backseat, mistaking the covered body for a tent.

Senior Constable Benjamin Miles recalled trying to move the tarpaulin, but soon realised "it was fleshy and soft to the touch".

Police cut a hole in the tarp to see inside, which is when they realised it was a body.

The trial continues today.

Topics:  crime, editors picks, gladstone, murder



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