REVEALED: Serious criminals out on parole

 

Most of the thousands of people paroled every year in southeast Queensland never make the headlines.

But these people, including killers, child molesters and wife beaters drew howls of outrage when they were released onto our streets.

We take a look at what they did, why they were let out and the impact that has had on their victims and victims' families.

 

Jade Lacey’s social media profile photo.
Jade Lacey’s social media profile photo.

JADE LACEY

Reports to Burleigh Heads police

Lacey was released in 2018 after the shooting of Kevin Palmer.

Palmer's mother, Ilaria Legge, said she had dreaded the day when Lacey would be freed.

"If I see him down the street, I don't know what I'm going to do or how I'm going to act,'' she said.

In 2007 Lacey's brother Dionne was convicted of the fatal shooting of Palmer, then 23, at a party at a Nerang townhouse.

Jade Lacey was sentenced to more than 11 years for shooting Palmer in the leg, but was acquitted of murder.

A former music producer and convicted cocaine and ecstasy trafficker, Jade Lacey will be subject to a parole order until May, 2022.

Ms Legge said she was originally advised Lacey would be living in Brisbane, but could, with permission, visit the Gold Coast for work or to see his family.

In February, 2019, Mr Palmer's family received notice he was reporting to Burleigh Heads police, less than 15km from Ms Legge's home.

Daniel Heazlewood being taken into the Southport Watch House. Picture Mike Batterham
Daniel Heazlewood being taken into the Southport Watch House. Picture Mike Batterham

DANIEL PAUL HEAZLEWOOD

The family of a Gold Coast woman brutally killed by her own son, Daniel Heazlewood, slammed the state's no body, no parole laws as "a load of crap" after Heazlewood was freed in November, 2020.

Linda Sidon's remains have never having been found.

Heazlewood was due to have been released from jail late last year, only 29 months after being sentenced to eight years' jail for the manslaughter of Ms Sidon.

Heazlewood told friends he hated his mother, whom he described as "a waste of space… a bogan… an ugly bitch", his 2018 sentencing hearing in Brisbane Supreme Court heard.

The court was told Heazlewood was a steroid-taking gym junkie who killed his slightly-built mother in their Housing Commission home during a struggle.

Two days later, he realised she was dead and bought a shovel and a bag of lime at a hardware store, placed her body in the boot of his car and drove 30km to Numinbah Valley where he buried her in a shallow grave.

He did not confess to police until 2015, after a listening device planted in his car recorded him saying: "She just pushed me too far one day… ha... so I killed her. Gotta remember where I put the bitch."

He had earlier denied any involvement, telling police: '"I do remember fairly 100 per cent… not killing anybody that year."

The "no body, no parole" laws were passed in August 2018, two months after Heazlewood was jailed for his mother's manslaughter and interfering with her corpse.

In November, 2020 the Parole Board admitted it wrestled with the no body, no parole law before deciding to free Heazlewood.

It noted he had failed to co-operate for six years before eventually leading police to where he believed he had buried his mother's body.

Former Bandido bikie gang member Jacques Teamo leaves Brisbane Magistrates Court in 2015. Picture: AAP
Former Bandido bikie gang member Jacques Teamo leaves Brisbane Magistrates Court in 2015. Picture: AAP

JACQUES TEAMO

Paroled in November, 2018 after pleading guilty to drug and other offences, the former Bandidos bikie boss was previously involved in a notorious attack at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast.

And in May, 2018 Teamo was hospitalised after he was smashed with an exercise bike seat by up to seven men during a brawl at Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre.

Teamo claimed at the time that the nine months he served in prison for that incident was excessive.

Teamo was also infamously shot by a rival bikie at Robina Town Centre in 2014 in a terrifying incident which saw shoppers flee for their lives.

 

 

In November, 2018 Magistrate Kay Philipson sentenced him to three months' prison, with immediate parole, after he was found with drugs in his underwear.

He also pleaded guilty to kicking a friend's $170,000 Mercedes so hard it left a dent.

Facebook image of Trent Thorburn's Tinder profile.
Facebook image of Trent Thorburn's Tinder profile.

TRENT JORDAN THORBURN

Thorburn was sentenced to four years' jail after committing incest with his 12-year-old foster sister, Tiahleigh Palmer, in 2015 before she was murdered by Trent's father Rick Thorburn.

A court heard Trent, then aged 18, feared Tiahleigh may have been pregnant so his father offered to "take care of it''.

The Marsden State High School student's body was later found dumped on a Logan river bank.

 

 

In 2017, Trent pleaded guilty to incest, attempting to pervert the course of justice and two counts of perjury for his efforts to steer police away from his family after Tiahleigh's murder.

He was released in January 2018 after serving 16 months of his jail term and caused outrage when he was found using the dating app Tinder.

Tiahleigh's mother Cindy said at the time that was horrified by Trent's 16-month sentence.

"Where is the justice? Why is there no sentence justifiable to the crime?" she said.

Rick Thorburn will have to serve two extra years behind bars before being eligible for parole after later being sentenced for 13 child sex offences involving two other girls.

In September last year Rick Thorburn tried to kill himself in jail.

 

Benjamin Ernest Power being driven off to serve nine years' jail for his role as 'lookout' on the night Damian Leeding was killed. Picture: 9NEWS
Benjamin Ernest Power being driven off to serve nine years' jail for his role as 'lookout' on the night Damian Leeding was killed. Picture: 9NEWS

BENJAMIN ERNEST POWER

ONE of the trio involved in the killing of hero Gold Coast cop Damian Leeding, Power was freed from jail on parole in April, 2019 despite a desperate bid by Leeding's shattered mum to keep him behind bars but rearrested in August that year after breaching parole conditions.

Det Snr Constable Leeding was gunned down while bravely trying to foil an armed holdup at the Pacific Pines Tavern on the northern Gold Coast in May 2011.

The shooter, Phillip Graeme Abell, and co-accused Donna McAvoy, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Power, who was the getaway driver, was jailed for nine years for the officer's manslaughter and declared a serious violent offender.

"The lives of my family changed forever the day we lost Damian and it's had a devastating impact on all of us," Leeding's mother Julie Waters said at the time.

"I feel like I've been given a life sentence too. I can't believe he (Power) could be out of jail so soon and getting on with his life. Lucky him."

 

 

 

TAYNE JOSEPH LATU BURRIDGE

The Gold Coast florist spread dog faeces on his partner, urinated on her head and told her to sleep in the garden "like a dog" during three days of degrading torture.

But Burridge was still granted immediate parole release by a Southport District Court judge.

The court heard his "vile and humiliating conduct" included pouring water from the dog's bowl over his partner in the middle of winter.

Burridge, who faced multiple charges including torture, assault occasioning bodily harm, attempting to pervert the court and common assault, was sentenced to four years' prison in September, 2020.

But he received immediate parole as he had been in pre-sentence custody for the previous 14 months.

Crown prosecutor Gary Churchill said the torture began in 2019 when Burridge began questioning his partner about a previous sexual relationship.

He repeatedly slapped her and also repeatedly hit her while she was driving on the M1.

"There is a plan on his release to ensure he has a buffer zone around him," his defence barrister told the court.

 

Former Snr Constable Colin David Randall punched his baby so hard his liver was “pulped
Former Snr Constable Colin David Randall punched his baby so hard his liver was “pulped".

COLIN DAVID RANDALL

The former police constable was due to be freed in January this year but his parole was delayed due to COVID. He is now expected to be released in a few months.

Randall punched his 10-week-old son so hard he pulverised his liver, killing him almost instantly.

During his trial the court heard he was having affairs with two women while his wife was pregnant - and later as she cared for their newborn - even as she struggled with post-natal depression.

On June 28, 2014, she left the baby at home with Randall for the first time while she and the coupe's older daughter went to the shops.

An hour later, Randall called and told her to come home, saying the baby was "limp and lifeless … he is not breathing".

Randall had not called an ambulance.

At the hospital, a sobbing Randall claimed he had done CPR incorrectly, causing the injuries found on the baby.

But a post-mortem examination found the horrific injuries were inconsistent with his explanation.

The little boy had fractured ribs, injuries to his bowel, a "pulped" liver so damaged that pieces were found scattered in his abdomen, a torn stomach wall and a spleen split in half.

The abdominal aorta was also torn in two places.

His wife has previously said her former husband's five-year non-parole period was "absolutely disgusting".

"He should be locked away for life," she said.

 

Bradley William Knudson. Picture: Facebook
Bradley William Knudson. Picture: Facebook

BRADLEY WILLIAM KNUDSON

The Gold Coast man punched an escort in the face, tried to choke and bind her wrists together in what a judge called a "blueprint to abduction and murder''.

The sex worker only narrowly escaped when Knudson tried to zip tie her hands.

Knudson, 34, pleaded guilty to multiple charges including disabling in order to commit an indictable offence, attempted deprivation of liberty and assault occasioning bodily harm.

He was sentenced in April, 2020, to seven years in prison with parole eligibility in February next year.

"We don't know exactly what was going on here but it doesn't look good," the judge said.

"What it looks like is that he was restraining her to abduct her to somewhere."

Judge Kent said the use of the cable ties was particularly disturbing.

 

Daniel Kappu. Picture: Supplied
Daniel Kappu. Picture: Supplied

DANIEL ROGER KAPPU

The Capalaba man's "significant, serious and prolonged attack'' on his partner was so bad a magistrate said she understood why people want some men branded on the forehead as a warning.

Kappu, 39, who has appeared in court 32 times for violent crimes, threatened to gut his victim's friend and rape and kill her children during a three-day ordeal.

Cleveland Magistrates Court heard in September last year that Kappu started a fight with the woman during a drive from Biloela to Capalaba.

He had become enraged when his victim took $1100 from his bank account to buy methamphetamine.

He forced her to stay awake by throwing water on her whenever she passed out.

She finally fled the caravan where they were staying, but not before being kicked in the back and on the leg.

The court heard Kappu assaulted the woman while he was on probation and also on a suspended sentence for similar offending.

"I would hate to seen how many of his victims were women and how many more there will be over the next 20 years," Magistrate Deborah Vasta said.

Kappu was sentenced to three years, six months imprisonment but may be paroled in September.

Originally published as Serious criminals out on parole



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