Queensland crimes that made headlines in 2015

SENSELESS acts of horror have bombarded our newspapers and television screens this year.

From public displays of fatal domestic violence to slain teenagers, social media lit up with outpourings of grief and outrage.

But there were a few lighter moments on the crime front thanks to Ipswich magistrates demanding those attending court wear appropriate clothes and police having a go at Nickelback.

MURDERED TEEN: Jayde Amanda Kendall.
Jayde Amanda Kendall

WHEN the pretty Lockyer Valley teenager with green eyes went missing, the public held their breath hoping for her safe return.

But Jayde Kendall, 16, was last seen getting into a vehicle outside her school on August 14 was tragically her body was found 13 days later in a paddock at Upper Tenthill.

Lockyer Waters man Brenden Jacob Bennetts, 19, was charged with her murder the next day.

At the same time, a Logan girl's family were left wondering why her story did not get the same traction among media and the public.

But the media and the public didn't know Tiffany Taylor was missing until two weeks after she stepped into a stranger's car.

Her sister Chloe Taylor, 19, was adamant during a media briefing that Tiffany must be found, regardless of the choices she had made in her life.

At just 16, Tiffany was five months pregnant and living in a motel with her boyfriend, aged 41.

Police have charged a 60-year-old stranger, who allegedly arranged to pay her for sex after meeting online, with her murder but her body remains missing.

Tialeigh Palmer

Tialeigh Palmer's badly decomposed body was found on a riverbank at Pimpana on the Gold Coast, 40km from the Logan school where her foster carers dropped her off on October 30.

While the 12-year-old's family was able to properly farewell her, a small consolation, they too are questioning why it took six days for police to make a public appeal for her whereabouts.

Police initially believed she had run away. They still have no solid leads.

Daniel Morcombe

MURDERER Brett Peter Cowan remains behind bars after he lost a bid to overturn his convictions in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Cowan abducted and killed Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe on December 7, 2003, and dumped the body in Glasshouse Mountains bushland.

His lawyers were quick to lodge a special leave application in the High Court in June, his final avenue for appeal, but no hearing has yet taken place.


Missing person Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Contributed
Allison Baden-Clay Contributed



A DECISION to downgrade Gerard Baden-Clay's murder conviction to manslaughter sent social media into a meltdown this month.

The Queensland Court of Appeal this month found the jury could not have been satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the former real estate agent had intended to kill his wife Allison.

The three justices found it was also a reasonable hypothesis that Baden-Clay accidentally killed the mother of three at their Brookfield home in April 2012 and dumped her body in a panic.

He will be re-sentenced early in 2016.

Mount Isa

POLICE say explosives sparked a fatal caravan explosion in July that claimed the life of father Charlie Hinder, 39, and his two young children Nyobi, 7, and River, 4.

After initial suggestions the deaths could have been from nearby gas bottles exploding, police in the north-western mining town confirmed they were treating the deaths as a tragic murder-suicide.


Tim McNaughton. Photo Contributed
Tim McNaughton. Photo Contributed Contributed ROK010415timmcnaught



THE Royal Flying Doctor Service felt a heavy blow in March when a young engineer turned a gun on two pilots while they were all engaging in recreational shooting at The Caves.

Tim McNaughton, 24, first fatally shot his father Greg and then turned the gun on Lindsay Hart, 54, as he ran through scrub trying to get away, hitting him twice but not killing him.

Then Tim, who sustained head injuries in a serious motorcycle accident about 10 months prior, turned the gun on himself just before 5pm on March 31.


Cocaine scandal

AFTER years of regularly making headlines for his sporting abilities, Queensland Reds vice-captain Karmichael Hunt hit the news for the wrong reasons early this year.

He was fined $2500 for possessing 12.5g of cocaine, having bought the drug four times from a Gold Coast cocaine cartel during a drug and alcohol binge last year.

He blamed the stress of switching clubs and football codes for going off the rails. He previously played for the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and Gold Coast Suns in the AFL.

Gold Coast Titans players Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Jamie Dowling and Kalifa Faifai Loa, and past players Ashley Harrison and Joe Vickery, were also implicated in an alleged cocaine scandal through a Crime and Corruption investigation.

The case against Bird, Harrison, Faifai Loa and Falloon unravelled when a magistrate found insufficient evidence against them but Taylor, Vickery and Dowling have been committed to trial.

Breanna Daphney Potter outside Ipswich Magistrates Court.
Breanna Daphney Potter outside Ipswich Magistrates Court. Contributed

Going to court in your activewear?

ACTIVEWEAR, activewear, going to court in your activewear.

While the courtroom usually demands a formal dress code, our friends in Ipswich prefer comfort.

Thongs, footy shorts, t-shirts with rude words and, yes, even gym attire.

When Breanna Daphney Potter turned up in her gym gear last month, she got a dressing down from the magistrate.

Needless to say, readers jumped on the bandwagon and the activewear parody reared its golden head to deliver more mirth. Watch the video.

Nickleback hits back

THE Queensland Police Service often use humour on social media to attract more followers and thereby spread crime fighting messages further.

This year's clanger took a swing at Nickelback just before its May concert in Brisbane, saying "Police are on the lookout for these men who are believed to be impersonating musicians around Boondall this evening. Avoid the area. It may be hazardous to your hearing and street cred".

While one of the world's most successful bands, it is often ridiculed with many a meme floating about.

The viral QPS post attracted about 40,000 likes and 15,000 shares on Facebook and made news around the world.

A previous social media post joked about gifting a Nickelback CD to the first person who drove through floodwater.

"If that won't deter people from taking care in the wet weather, nothing will. #bigwet ", it read.

But this month, the Sunday Mail reported there was a ceasefire after police received a complaint from the rock band's touring party.