Jennifer Board death: Alleged vigilante driver up for murder

 

An alleged youth crime vigilante accused of driving the car that hit and killed 22-year-old aspiring policewoman Jennifer Board in an horrific Townsville crash has been charged with murder.

The 25-year-old Bushland Beach man was taken into police custody late on Monday, accused of being behind the wheel of a Holden Statesman on Friday night that police allege was chasing a stolen Hyundai through Townsville when the tragedy unfolded.

The driver of the allegedly stolen Hyundai, 18-year-old Gregory Clubb, was also arrested and later charged after allegedly going on a crime spree to Cairns and back following the crash.

A second 18-year-old man, Layne Newman, has also been charged with four counts each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing and two counts of attempted burglary.

Jennifer Board was riding her motorbike, inset top, when she was killed. A floral tribute has been left at the scene of the crash.
Jennifer Board was riding her motorbike, inset top, when she was killed. A floral tribute has been left at the scene of the crash.

 

The Statesman collided with the rear of the stolen car, crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit Ms Board, 22, as she was riding her motorcycle.

It is understood police will consider using a similar definition of murder that was used in the Alexandra Hills deaths of Kate Leadbetter and Matthew Field. The couple and their unborn son were killed when they were struck by the driver of an allegedly stolen car who had lost control after colliding with a tow truck last month.

The definition does not rely on intent, but instead is based on the legal theory that someone may have committed murder if they commit a criminal act that is reckless or negligent where death is a foreseeable and probable consequence.

The Bushland Beach man is expected to front court in Townsville on Tuesday.

One of the cars involved in the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney
One of the cars involved in the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

Northern Region Assistant Commissioner Brett Schafferius urged vigilantes fed up with youth crime in the city to let police do their jobs.

"Can I say to vigilantes out there within our community, stop it," Mr Schafferius said.

"You are putting yourselves and innocent members of our community at risk.

"All it takes is one error, one mistake, and it can end in fatal consequences.

"Just stop it.

"If you think for one second you are contributing to community safety in Townsville, you are wrong. You are absolutely wrong."

He said vigilantes committing crimes would be treated like "any other criminal" and put before the courts.

Police allege Clubb was driving the stolen car involved in the crash and had been on the run for three days before his arrest in the Townsville suburb of Rasmussen Monday morning along with Newman.

Jennifer Broad’s motorbike at the scene of the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Jennifer Broad’s motorbike at the scene of the crash. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

Mr Schafferius said the arrests of the teenagers were a win for police.

"We have been actively seeking them since Friday. And they have been located … And we'll be investigating the linkages to further stolen vehicles as part of that investigation," Mr Schafferius said.

Clubb allegedly went to ground after the crash, and drove another stolen vehicle north to Cairns on Sunday with the other man.

The group allegedly broke into at least two homes in Mt Sheridan and White Rock, evaded police at Parramatta Park and returned south.

The stolen vehicle was allegedly found dumped in Innisfail Monday morning, but another vehicle was stolen from Mundoo, which was allegedly driven back to Townsville prior to the arrests.

 

Jennifer Board with her motorbike.
Jennifer Board with her motorbike.

 

 

Two girls - aged 14 and 15 - were understood to have been arrested in Innisfail.

Police on Monday spotted a stolen Toyota HiAce mini-van on the Ring Road about 7am, and they suspected Clubb was inside.

The car avoided police for about an hour until it was dumped in Rasmussen. All three occupants bolted.

Clubb allegedly made a run for it, jumped through backyards and hid inside a home on Pinnacle Drive.

Police, including dog squad and tactical units, saturated the area while they tried to flush Clubb out of the home.

Police stormed the home and arrested Clubb about 8.30am. Clubb has been charged with seven counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, three counts each of burglary and stealing, two counts of dangerous driving.

Newman was arrested at 9.25am in a Josephine Cres home and has been charged with four counts each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing and two counts of attempted burglary.

The pair will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

 

Mourners place flowers near the accident site. Picture: Evan Morgan
Mourners place flowers near the accident site. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

Another occupant in the car remains on the loose.

A 17-year-old Aitkenvale girl has already been arrested and charged by police for allegedly being a passenger in the stolen car involved in the fatal crash.

 

 

Originally published as Jennifer Board death: Alleged vigilante driver up for murder