Lies and cover-ups after dad's death
A DAD'S bloodied death at Moore Park Beach after a brawl with his son-in-law led to his daughter and friends hiding her partner and not helping police in their investigation.
It was revealed months later that the man died from self-inflicted injuries after smashing glass louvres and not from any injuries caused by his son-in-law.
This week Gavin Baldwin, 33, a disability support pensioner, and long-term partner Amanda Bornen, 29, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Bornen also pleaded guilty to wilful damage for smashing the back windscreen of a female cousin's car after a family barbecue soured.
Crown prosecutor David Nardone told the Bundaberg District Court the couple was charged after Bornen, along with William John Perry, attempted to help Baldwin evade police detection on September 25, 2105, at Moore Park Beach.
Ms Nardone said the couple, parents of four children, both had criminal records in other states.
After his arrest some days later, Baldwin was then held in police custody for 77 days, arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.
He was released and the charge dropped when an autopsy determined the cause of death of Bornen's father, Joseph Bornen.
Mr Nardone said Baldwin and Mr Bornen were in a fight but Mr Bornen cut his arm when he broke a window and died.
The post mortem found that "a self-inflicted injury" to his arm was the cause of death and not anything done by Baldwin.
Mr Nardone said, despite the seriousness of what occurred, Bornen had assisted her partner to avoid police that night and "she lied to police about his whereabouts".
"She gave a false statement that she had no idea where Mr Baldwin was," Mr Nardone said.
Mr Nardone said two co-offenders, Perry and Michelle Julas, had been dealt with by the courts.
Julas, 29, had driven Baldwin to her house to hide him, denied to police knowing his whereabouts and provided a false statement. She was sentenced to 12 months jail, with immediate parole.
Perry, 56, told police he did not know where Baldwin was, although he helped others driving him away. He was sentenced to 12 months jail, wholly suspended.
Bornen's defence barrister, Kim Bryson, said her client's father drank alcohol and became problematic and she had been in the process of getting a domestic violence order against him at the time.
Judge Michael Shanahan sentenced the couple to 12 months jail and immediately released them on parole.
Judge Shanahan accepted that Mr Bornen went to the couple's home and cut his arm after smashing louvres.
And although there had been a fight between him and Baldwin, who was armed with a bat, he received only minor head injuries.
The cause of death was bleeding from a self-inflicted arm injury and not to do with Baldwin.
However, Judge Shanahan said attempting to pervert the course of justice was very serious, viewed as striking the heart of the justice system, and a jail sentence was appropriate.