News

Sister supports brother convicted of murdering mum

SCARRED: Domestic violence has cost Matilda Gilbert both her mother and her brother. She holds a school photo of herself and brother Horace, destroyed by her mother Roxane during a fit of anger.
SCARRED: Domestic violence has cost Matilda Gilbert both her mother and her brother. She holds a school photo of herself and brother Horace, destroyed by her mother Roxane during a fit of anger. Ebony Battersby

MATILDA Gilbert does not condone her older brother's actions - but, she says, Horace Jones should not be held fully responsible for murdering their mother.

A 10-person jury in Rockhampton's Supreme Court on Tuesday found Jones guilty of murdering his mother Roxane Gilbert.

He struck her 25 times with a samurai sword and steak knife, killing her on June 29, 2012.

Shattered but stoic on Wednesday, Jones's younger sister Matilda said killing his mother had been her brother's reaction to decades of family violence.

The 19-year-old veterinary science student, who lives in Dart Creek, 40 minutes from Gladstone, said she felt as children they hadn't known where to turn for help.

Now she wants greater understanding from the public of the consequences of domestic violence.

"(We need to) stop ignoring kids who are getting beaten up," she declared.

"This was avoidable. If someone had helped us more as kids, none of this would have happened.

"She (her mother) ruined our lives when she was here, (and) even though she is gone she is still ruining our lives," she said.

"Family was everything to Horace."

On the third day of the five-day trial, the jury heard of occasions where Jones and Ms Gilbert were physically beaten by their mother.

The defence said Jones's mother was the first to attack him with a knife on the night of her death - a claim that didn't appear to sway the jury, who handed down a guilty verdict.

Jones has been held in custody since the night of the murder.

Ms Gilbert said it was likely she would be a 34-year-old practising veterinarian the next time she was able to hug her brother.

The James Cook University student said she feared victims of crime across the country were facing the same isolation and confusion that she did.

"I want people to know what we went through," she said. "I hope some other parent will see this and think twice before abusing their children.

"I really think Horace should be helped and supported now. Horace was far more tolerant than I was.

"The sentence given to him (Horace) was really rough."

Ms Gilbert said she got her strength knowing she had the support of her father, little brother and Horace.

No winners in murder trial verdict

GLADSTONE CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said the guilty verdict handed down on Tuesday night had brought about the end of a two-and-a-half-year investigation.

He said the graphic nature of the murder had taken a toll on the investigators, first response officers and other people who discovered the body of Roxane Gilbert in 2012.

And while he said police were pleased with the verdict that came back, he said there were "no real winners".

"This family has lost two members now," he said. "But it is a win for justice."

He said this was a case of domestic violence between a son and his mother.

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Topics:  crime domestic violence editors picks murder rockhampton supreme court



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