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Written by Peter Carter

February 28, 2017

Lionel Patea was yesterday sentenced to life in prison at the Brisbane Supreme Court over the murder of his former partner, Tara Brown.

On September 8 2015 Patea, a one-time Bandido gang member, chased Brown down in a car after she had dropped their daughter off to child care. The pair were seen reaching speeds of up to 100km/h before Pateu rammed his vehicle into the back of Brown’s car forcing her to veer off over a fence and into a ditch in Molendinar.

Brown was trapped in her upturned car as Patea proceeded to leave his vehicle and obtain a fire hydrant. He then brutally attacked Brown by bludgeoning her with the 7.8kg metal hydrant. Bystanders heard Brown’s cries and tried to help but Patea was able to fight them off.

Brown was rushed to the Gold Coast University Hospital with numerous head injuries including fractures to her face and skull, unfortunately, due to the severity of her injuries, Brown passed away the following day at the age of 24.

Yesterday the court heard Patea plead guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Justice Debra Mullins who handed down the sentence stated that, “She (Ms Brown) will not now have the joy of seeing her daughter grow up… your daughter has been deprived of the love and nurture of her mother”.

In the weeks leading up to the brutal murder, Brown had applied for a domestic violence order and was living in a safe house but returned to the Gold Coast on September 6 to “get her life back in order”.

Patea was previously convicted three times in 2012 for breaching domestic violence orders and has a long history of violence. Brown’s mother, Natalie Hinton, described Patea as a “misogynistic narcissist” and a “monster” as she read out her victim impact statement in court.

Brown’s murder came just before the shooting of Karina Lock at a McDonald’s by former partner Stephen Lock. Both cases sent shock waves across the nation with demands for more to be done for victims of domestic violence.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT.

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