Killer dad guilty of abusing family daycare kids

TIAHLEIGH Palmer's killer Rick Thorburn has confessed to a raft of child-sex offences, including the rape and attempted rape of two girls, who attended a family day care at his home.

Thorburn, who was last year handed a life sentenced for the murder of his 12-year-old foster daughter, today pleaded guilty in Beenleigh District Court to a raft of sexual offences against two girls aged under 12.

The charges included rape, attempted rape and 10 counts of indecent treatment of a child.

The offences occurred several years ago at the family home at Chambers Flat, where Thorburn's wife Julene Thorburn operated a family day care business.

Court documents obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail reveal Thorburn, now 59, was left alone with the children on several occasions and touched one girl sexually during "couch time" at the daycare.

It is understood Thorburn also showed one of the children explicit sexual videos while alone with her in the car on the way to school and told her: "You should do that on my d---."

The child told Thorburn she would vomit if he didn't turn off the video, the court documents allege.

Police also say the then 55-year-old tried to force one child to suck his penis and digitally raped the other girl.

Thorburn will be sentenced for the offences at a later date.

 

Rick Thorburn was already serving a life sentence for murdering his foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer.
Rick Thorburn was already serving a life sentence for murdering his foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer.

 

During his sentencing hearing for the schoolgirl's murder, the court heard Thorburn killed Tiahleigh on October 29, 2015, after discovering his son Trent, then aged 18, had sexually abused her.

Thorburn believed the 12-year-old may have been pregnant.

She was later found dead on the banks of the Pimpama River.

His offending was described by the Brisbane Supreme Court judge who sentenced him to life behind bars as "cold, calculating and callous".

Despite being aware Thorburn had killed Tiahleigh, his son Trent and wife Julene lied to police and during coercive hearings about the girl's murder.

Julene was in 2017 sentenced to 18 months' jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

She served six months in custody before her sentence was suspended for three years.

Trent was sentenced to four years in prison, suspended after 16 months, for incest and perjury charges.

His brother Josh Thorburn received a 15-month sentence for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.



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