Historic: Detectives at the scene of murder at the Pottri in 1986. Patrick McGrane, was17 years old when he was convicted of the rape and murder of his sister, 21. The offences happened on March 24, 1986, and McGrane was convicted on June 5, 1986. Negative reference: IY349. Published 27th March, 1986. Photo: Bruce Mackenzie / The Chronicle
Historic: Detectives at the scene of murder at the Pottri in 1986. Patrick McGrane, was17 years old when he was convicted of the rape and murder of his sister, 21. The offences happened on March 24, 1986, and McGrane was convicted on June 5, 1986. Negative reference: IY349. Published 27th March, 1986. Photo: Bruce Mackenzie / The Chronicle Bruce Mackenzie

KILLER TEENS: Brother’s file marked ‘never be released’

JAMES Patrick McGrane was 17 when he raped and murdered his 21-year-old sister on March 26, 1986.

The brutal killer left the body of his sister, Dianne McGrane, naked on the bedroom floor of a pottery shop at Hodgson Vale.

McGrane had been staying at Dianne's home "for her protection" and bound and gagged her before using a knife to cut away her clothes, rubbed his hands over her body, and raped her.

"After stabbing her once in the front of her chest penetrating her heart, he rolled her over onto her stomach and stabbed her 10 or more times in the back with substantial force," Appeals Court Justice John Muir wrote in 2014, dismissing McGrane's bid for release from prison.

"Four of the knife wounds in the back also penetrated the victim's heart.

"The respondent pleaded guilty to rape but not guilty to murder on the ground of diminished responsibility."

McGrane was found guilty in the Toowoomba Supreme Court in June 1986, with Justice Brian Ambrose sentencing the teen to life for murder, and 15 years imprisonment for the rape.

Justice Ambrose told McGrane his offending was "horrific".

"The circumstances of both offences were horrific," His Honour said.

"The girl must have thought she was having a nightmare when it was occurring to her."

McGrane showed no emotion during the two-and-a-half-day trial, a factor the jury of seven women and five men were asked to take into consideration.

"He did not flinch while the horrifying details of the death of his sister were recounted in court," McGrane's legal counsel Bob Brewer had told the court.

"All the signs are pointing to a disturbance of mind."

But no professional psychologist or psychiatrist who examined McGrane was able to conclude he wasn't responsible for his actions, prosecutor Col Owens said.

Critically, McGrane's motive for the slaying has never been revealed - neither at trial, nor during extensive and ongoing consultation with medical and psychiatric staff during his decades of incarceration.

As Mr Owens said during the 1986 trial: "He says he knows the reason, but he won't tell us. He won't tell anyone."

McGrane had become eligible to apply for parole on April 1, 1999, and has made several unsuccessful applications for release.

The Queensland Parole Board continues to consider him an unacceptable risk of reoffending if released, even in a supervised capacity, into the community.
 



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