Tiahleigh’s foster brother walks out of prison

TIAHLEIGH Palmer's foster brother has walked from prison after serving 16 months for incest and covering up the schoolgirl's murder.

Trent Jordan Thorburn spent the majority of his sentence in solitary confinement after fellow inmates targeted him within days of his arrest.

Twelve-year-old Tiahleigh was reported missing on October 30, 2015.

Trent's father, Rick Thorburn, told police he had driven her to school that morning and watched her walk towards the school gate.

Trent Thorburn — charged with incest, pervert the course of justice and perjury in relation to the death of Tiahleigh Palmer.
Trent Thorburn — charged with incest, pervert the course of justice and perjury in relation to the death of Tiahleigh Palmer.

But a court heard Tiahleigh was not driven to school that day - she had been murdered the night before, allegedly by Rick, after he discovered Trent had sex with her.

Police will allege Rick murdered the young girl because he was afraid of his son going to jail.

Tiahleigh's body was found six days later on the banks of the Pimpama River.

Trent pleaded guilty to incest, attempting to pervert the course of justice and two counts of perjury for his efforts to steer police away from his family.

Pictures: Supplied
Pictures: Supplied

He admitted lying in two Crime and Corruption Commission coercive hearings, initially denying any sexual contact, as well as lying about his knowledge of what had happened to his foster sister.

The 20-year-old was sentenced to four years in jail, suspended after 16 months.

Tiahleigh Palmer’s body was found in November 2015.
Tiahleigh Palmer’s body was found in November 2015.

Rick has been indicted on charges of murder and interfering with a corpse but has not entered a plea. He remains in custody.

Other members of the Thorburn family faced court over their roles in covering up Tiahleigh's death.

Tiahleigh’s mother Cindy Palmer was horrified by Trent Thorburn’s 16-month sentence. Picture: Jack Tran
Tiahleigh’s mother Cindy Palmer was horrified by Trent Thorburn’s 16-month sentence. Picture: Jack Tran

Rick's wife, Julene, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice after she lied to authorities.

Their other son, Josh, received a 15-month sentence for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Tiahleigh's mother Cindy, who said this morning she had been given confirmation of Trent's release, was horrified by his 16-month sentence.

A court has heard Tiahleigh Palmer was not driven to school the day she was reported missing but was murdered the night before, allegedly by foster father Rick Thorburn, after he discovered Trent had sex with her.
A court has heard Tiahleigh Palmer was not driven to school the day she was reported missing but was murdered the night before, allegedly by foster father Rick Thorburn, after he discovered Trent had sex with her.

"Where is the justice? Why is there no sentence justifiable to the crime?" she wrote.

Outside court last year, she said she was frustrated she was not yet fully able to express her pain, given there were still matters before the court.

"Trent, you took advantage of my 12-year-old girl when you were in a position of trust and were meant to act as a role model for my daughter," she said.

"You lied and covered up the fact that you had sex with my 12-year-old daughter, and even went to the extent of coming to her funeral and dancing at the service.

"You hugged me and my family and cried at what happened to my daughter knowing full well what you had done.

"At some stage you will walk free and go on to live a full life. We as a family have been handed nothing but (the) pain and torment of your actions for a lifetime."

News Corp Australia


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