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Tara Brown approached Gold Coast police five days before death, coroner reveals

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A mother who feared for her life was ignored by police when she came to them for help five days before she was beaten to death by her bikie partner, a coroner has found. 

Queensland Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley released findings into the death of Tara Brown, 24, more than five years after she was killed on September 8, 2015.

Ms Brown was driven off a Gold Coast road, in Queensland, by Bandidos sergeant-at-arms and partner Lionel Patea, before being beaten to death with a steel fire hydrant cover while trapped in her car.

The pair had been together since 2011 and shared a three-year-old daughter. 

Patea pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017. 

Ms Bentley says Ms Brown had gone to police to make an application for a domestic violence protection order on September 3 – five days before her death, Brisbane Times reported. 

Queensland Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley released findings into the death of Tara Brown, 24, more than five years after she was killed on September 8, 2015

Queensland Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley released findings into the death of Tara Brown, 24, more than five years after she was killed on September 8, 2015

Ms Brown was driven off a Gold Coast road, in Queensland, by Bandidos sergeant-at-arms and partner Lionel Patea, before she became trapped in her car and beaten to death with a steel fire hydrant cover

Ms Brown was driven off a Gold Coast road, in Queensland, by Bandidos sergeant-at-arms and partner Lionel Patea, before she became trapped in her car and beaten to death with a steel fire hydrant cover

Her pleas for help were rejected, with one officer telling an internal investigation it was ‘commonplace for women to make false allegations to further their position in Family Court matters’.

Ms Brown’s solicitor had called ahead at the Southport Police Station to request a private room for Ms Brown so she could discuss her fears over Patea.

But Ms Bentley says police failed to provide a room or to take a statement when Ms Brown arrived at the station.  

Ms Brown even showed the constable at reception she had received ‘hundreds of messages in the space of hours’ from Patea. 

One of the messages read: ‘U COLD HEARTED DOG U CAN GET F****D … IM LOOSING IT TARA SERISLLY IM A SINGLE DAD IF U WANNA DITCH US IM GUNNA MAKE U FEEL LIKE U WISIH U NEVER HAD UR DAUGHTER.’ 

‘The constable spoke to his shift supervisor, a sergeant, and both concluded that they had no evidence to confirm that domestic and family violence had occurred,’ Ms Bentley said. 

The state coroner also said Ms Brown had seen a member of Patea’s family outside the station and expressed concern they might be watching her.

Ms Brown also revealed she had been pinned down on the bed and threatened with a pair of scissors by Patea.

Ms Bentley said the constable did not accurately record the incident when he was told about it.

Ms Brown even showed the constable at reception she had received 'hundreds of messages in the space of hours' from Patea (pictured, mock-up of one of the texts sent by Patea)

Ms Brown even showed the constable at reception she had received ‘hundreds of messages in the space of hours’ from Patea (pictured, mock-up of one of the texts sent by Patea)

The state coroner also said Ms Brown had seen a member of Patea's family outside the station and expressed concern they might be watching her

The state coroner also said Ms Brown had seen a member of Patea’s family outside the station and expressed concern they might be watching her

Ms Brown also revealed she had been pinned down on the bed and threatened with a pair of scissors by Patea

Ms Brown also revealed she had been pinned down on the bed and threatened with a pair of scissors by Patea

‘Ms Brown reported that Mr Patea held scissors to her throat and threatened her, but the constable’s recollection and reporting of events differed dramatically from that of the solicitor and Ms Brown’s mother, who were also present,’ Ms Bentley said.

‘He recorded that scissors fell out of Mr Patea’s pocket after he pushed her onto the bed and that it was not a violent push.

‘Ms Brown was reluctant to sign a statement about the events.’ 

Ms Bentley also said Queensland Health had failed to follow-up with Ms Brown after she raised concerns about her relationship during an antenatal appointment.

Hospital staff also allowed Patea to be present at the birth of the pair’s three-year-old daughter despite overhearing him threatening to slit the throat of Ms Brown’s mother, according to Ms Bentley.

Ms Bentley revealed his presence breached a domestic violence order and that staff failed to contact police. 

On September 8, 2015, the day of her murder, Ms Brown had just dropped off her three-year-old daughter Aria at daycare when Patea chased down her hatchback with a four-wheel-drive

On September 8, 2015, the day of her murder, Ms Brown had just dropped off her three-year-old daughter Aria at daycare when Patea chased down her hatchback with a four-wheel-drive

Ms Bentley also said Queensland Health had failed to follow-up with Ms Brown after she raised concerns about her relationship during an antenatal appointment

Ms Bentley also said Queensland Health had failed to follow-up with Ms Brown after she raised concerns about her relationship during an antenatal appointment

During the time of Ms Brown’s death, she had been hiding from Patea at a safe house and friends’ homes.   

On September 8, 2015, the day of her murder, Ms Brown had just dropped off her three-year-old daughter Aria at daycare when Patea chased down her hatchback with a four-wheel-drive.

Patea ultimately rammed the back of Ms Brown’s car, forcing her down an embankment and trapping her inside the overturned vehicle.

He used the metal slab weighing 7.8kg taken from the side of the road to repeatedly bash her head, causing ‘non-survivable’ brain injuries.

Emergency operators listened helplessly as the mother cried for help – as more than a dozen ‘thumping’ sounds were recorded over the phone.

It was later revealed Patea had learned Ms Brown had been seeing another man and had threatened her in the days leading up to her death by holding a pair of scissors to her throat. 

It was later revealed Patea had learned Ms Brown had been seeing another man and had threatened her in the days leading up to her death by holding a pair of scissors to her throat

 It was later revealed Patea had learned Ms Brown had been seeing another man and had threatened her in the days leading up to her death by holding a pair of scissors to her throat

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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