The man accused of murdering Kelly Wilkinson walked from police custody on serious charges just eight days before her body was found in horrific circumstances.
The man accused of murdering Kelly Wilkinson walked from police custody on serious charges just eight days before her body was found in horrific circumstances.

Accused killer bailed on serious charges before Kelly died

The man accused of burning his wife alive in the back yard of a Gold Coast home walked from police custody on serious charges without even having to apply for bail just eight days before allegedly murdering his estranged partner Kelly Wilkinson.

And despite contacting police to complain, her pleas for Johnston to be locked up went unheeded.

Her heartbroken relatives are now demanding answers as to how the alarming oversights were allowed to happen.

Kelly Wilkinson’s body was found in the back yard of a home at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture: Facebook
Kelly Wilkinson’s body was found in the back yard of a home at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture: Facebook

Johnston, 34, remains in an induced coma in the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital as he faces charges including murder and breach of bail over Kelly's horrific death this week.

Kelly, 27, was burnt alive in the backyard of her Arundel home.

Police were called to the Spikes Court home early on Tuesday morning after a concerned neighbour raised the alarm about a disturbance at the property.

Her body was found in the back yard of the home, with Johnston found injured nearby.

He was charged with murder later that night.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the bail breach charge relates to Johnston's arrest on April 12 over accusations he committed serious crimes between February 18-23 this year.

The nature of the allegations cannot be reported due to legal reasons.

However, it can be revealed that Johnston was initially not required to face court and was instead granted simple watch-house bail with his first court appearance on those charges scheduled for Southport Magistrates Court next week.

It meant prosecutors were unable to argue to a magistrate that he should have remained behind bars while the case progressed.

Brian Johnston has been charged with the murder of his wife Kelly Wilkinson. Picture: Facebook
Brian Johnston has been charged with the murder of his wife Kelly Wilkinson. Picture: Facebook

Instead he was free to return to the community - just two weeks after Kelly had called police for help over another incident.

It is understood Kelly then later complained to a police station but Johnston remained in the community.

Just days later she was dead.

The case follows the death of Browns Plains woman Doreen Langham, whose unfulfilled cries for help in February led Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll to acknowledge that even she didn't know what more Doreen could have done.

 

Police at Spikes Court, Arundel, where Kelly Wilkinson’s body was found in the back yard of her home. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
Police at Spikes Court, Arundel, where Kelly Wilkinson’s body was found in the back yard of her home. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

 

 

Originally published as How accused killer walked free on serious charges days before Kelly died



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