Tiahleigh Palmer was killed in 2015.
Tiahleigh Palmer was killed in 2015.

Foster brothers’ insult to slain Tia

IF TIAHLEIGH Palmer had not been murdered by her foster father Rick Thorburn, the young cheerleader would have likely competed at the weekend's Winterfest Cheer and Dance Championships.

Instead, parents of the 12-year-old victim's dance friends were stunned to see her former foster brothers, Trent and Joshua, sitting in the audience.

Both brothers - who were heavily involved in the dance community - spent time in prison for covering up the schoolgirl's murder. Trent was also convicted of incest after police discovered he had molested the schoolgirl.

His behaviour was said to have been the motive for Tiahleigh's 2015 murder after Trent told his parents he was worried she may be pregnant.

Court hearings heard Rick murdered Tiahleigh in her bed out of fears his son would go to prison. He stripped her and dumped her body on the banks of the Pimpama River where she was found by fishermen five days later.

Tia's mother Cindy, in a social media post, expressed her fury that the Thorburn brothers were enjoying a dance and cheerleading competition that her daughter should have been participating in.

"Both Trent and Joshua Thorburn are out and about enjoying their lives as if nothing has happened," she said.

"They are currently attending a dance competition where, yes, there are children dancing!

"I knew once court was over and they were out of jail this would happen, but seeing it and how they have just blended back into society has literally broken me."

A photograph taken by a mother appears to show the brothers sitting among the audience at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre for the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation Winterfest Cheer and Dance Championships.

Cindy said she was told parents spotted the brothers among the audience on Friday evening and Sunday.

Joshua Thorburn.
Joshua Thorburn.

 

Trent Thorburn.
Trent Thorburn.

She said one parent called police to report the boys' presence but was told they were not committing a crime by being at the event.

"The whole Thorburn family were a part of murdering my daughter in some way," Cindy said.

"There was a huge public uproar when this was all going through the legal system and so many people saying `don't worry, karma will get them' and things like `nobody will forget their faces or what they have done'.

"Yet, I bring to everyone's attention these scum are blending into everyday life and even if someone recognised them, nobody wants to say anything!"

Cindy Palmer (centre), says hearing the boys were at the event has left her “literally broken”. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Cindy Palmer (centre), says hearing the boys were at the event has left her “literally broken”. Picture: AAP/Darren England

Rick Thorburn pleaded guilty to murder in May and was sentenced to life in prison, with a 20 year non-parole period.

"Your conduct throughout all of the offending is made more shocking for the deliberateness of your actions and your willingness to coerce every member of your family to maintain false accounts in an effort to cover up your despicable behaviour," Justice David Boddice said in sentencing.

Rick Thorburn and family Josh, Julene and Trent, were all sentenced after Tiahleigh’s murder for their roles.
Rick Thorburn and family Josh, Julene and Trent, were all sentenced after Tiahleigh’s murder for their roles.

The remaining three members of the Thorburn family, mother Julene and brothers Joshua and Trent, were sentenced for their roles in 2017.

Joshua received 15 months jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice but was released after three months.

Trent was sentenced to four years for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice but served 16 months.

Julene was given 18 months jail, suspended after six months, for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.



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