2012 a torrid time for courts and criminals in Queensland

APN court reporter Rae Wilson takes a look at court cases and crimes from 2012.

THE Christmas presents will never be opened but Denise Morcombe has reunited her son Daniel with the gifts he should have received nine years ago.

In a heartbreaking public farewell, the Palmwoods mother lovingly placed the neatly wrapped gifts and an unseen Year 9 report card on her son's white coffin nine years to the day after he went missing.

His family had just sat through the first two weeks of a committal hearing for the man accused of abducting and murdering the 13 year old - Brett Peter Cowan.

They heard DNA evidence about bones and clothing found at Glasshouse Mountains and witness statements from the moments before he went missing. The hearing continues in February.


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Murdered Singh siblings – Neelma, Kunal and Sidhi; the parents of Daniel Morcombe leave court; former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel; a memorial to Allison Baden-Clay; the Shen Neng oil spill.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Murdered Singh siblings – Neelma, Kunal and Sidhi; the parents of Daniel Morcombe leave court; former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel; a memorial to Allison Baden-Clay; the Shen Neng oil spill. Files

The Singh family's ordeal plays out in court

THE spa where the Singh family had hours of fun has become a candle-lit shrine since Massimo "Max" Sica, jailed in July for at least 35 years after a three-month trial, dumped three murdered siblings there.

Shirley Singh - mother of slain Neelma, 24, Kunal, 18, and Sidhi, 12 - told Brisbane Supreme Court she lit a candle in the spa for them every night so they did not sleep in the dark.

Mrs Singh said the spa at their Bridgeman Downs home was "turned into a graveyard of my children" on April 21, 2003.

Community mourns loss of Allison Baden-Clay

THE hearts of Queenslanders went out to the Baden-Clay family when Brookfield mother of three Allison went missing in April. Her body was found 10 days later at Kholo Creek, near Ipswich, and her husband charged with murder. The court has heard allegations of life insurance fraud and affairs.

Jayant Patel convictions quashed in High Court

FORMER Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel had grievous bodily harm and manslaughter convictions quashed in the High Court.

He will face the first of his re-trials relating to his decision to operate on four patients in February pending the outcome of a permanent stay application.

Bulk carrier caused 58 football fields of damage

THE Chinese seaman in charge of a bulk carrier that caused 58 football fields of damage to a treasured World Heritage area off the Central Queensland coast was ordered to serve three months of an 18-month jail sentence behind bars.

Xuegang Wang, 46, failed to chart Shen Neng 1's position every 15 minutes once he took watch aboard the 225m vessel after it had been loaded with coal at the Gladstone port at Easter 2010. It ploughed into Douglas Shoal about 120km from Rockhampton.

Baby's death prompts rental revamp call

A ROCKHAMPTON coroner called for major changes in the real estate industry following an inquest into the death of Yeppoon baby Isabella Diefenbach.

Coroner Annette Hennessy handed down 13 recommendations aiming to protect the safety of rental property tenants and provide a uniform code of practice for real estate agents.

The seven-week-old child was in her father's arms when his foot fell through a rotten wooden plank on the balcony of her parents' rental home in 2010. They had complained to their real estate agent before her death.

Bodies of Mt Isa couple found in bushland

THE bodies of Mount Isa couple Scott Maitland and Cindy Masonwells were found in bushland near Cairns.

They had flown into Cairns for an engagement party and to collect a vintage panel van that had been stolen months prior. Brandon McGowan, 41, has been charged with their murders.

Inquest provides answers for five families

After four years of pain, heartache and the burden of not knowing, five families got answers.

An inquest into the deaths of Brett McKenzie, Abby Ezzy, Max Thorley and Nick Nolan - four young Warwick friends who died in an horrific crash at Eight Mile in January 2008, found McKenzie was driving the vehicle hit by a B-double truck, and the truck driver Greg Walsh had no way of avoiding the car.

Topics:  allison baden-clay courts criminals daniel morcombe editors picks queensland

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