News

Trial of duo accused of Gold Coast police shooting begins

The funeral procession for Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding.
The funeral procession for Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding.

A GUNMAN allegedly shot a Gold Coast police officer in the face before re-loading his shot gun, grabbing a bag of stolen cash and dragging it past the officer's body to escape, a court has heard.

The trial of Donna Lee McAvoy and Phillip Graeme Abell charged with murdering Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding began today in the Brisbane Supreme Court.

Snr Cst Leeding, 35, died after he was shot while responding to armed hold-up at the Pacific Pines Tavern on May 29, 2011.

McAvoy and Abell have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Both have pleaded guilty to armed robbery with violence and seven counts of deprivation of liberty.

In his opening address, Crown Prosecutor Todd Fuller showed chilling photographs of the armed hold-up captured on CCTV footage.

The photographs showed two people, one weilding a shotgun and the other a bag, storming into the Gold Coast tavern.

Another photograph showed tavern patrons on the floor with their hands behind their backs.

The Crown alleges the man weilding the gun was Abell while the person with the bag was McAvoy.

Mr Fuller said tavern manager Kelly McLaren was forced to take money from the safe at gunpoint.

The court heard the amount stolen was about $16,000.

Ms McLaren, two other tavern employees and patrons were led into a storeroom as McAvoy and McLaren allegedly made their way out.

The court heard Snr Cst Leeding and his partner Detective Senior Constable Nicole Jackson arrived at the tavern just before 10:40pm.

Mr Fuller said Snr Cst Jackson heard Snr Cst Leeding yell out "stop police" and then two shots rang out.

Snr Cst Jackson saw Snr Cst Leeding lying on the ground on his back, the court heard.

Mr Fuller explained the gunman allegedly reloaded his weapon before he walked back up towards his partner, they grabbed the bag with cash, walked past the officer and dragged the bag into the car park.

The jury heard the extend of Snr Cst Leeding's horrific injuries, including blinding to both eyes, an open wound above his eyes, skull fractures and brain hemorrhaging.

"He had a non-recoverable brain injury and the decision was made to take him off life support," Mr Fuller said.

McAvoy, who sat on opposite ends of the dock to her co-accused, wiped away tears as the injuries were recounted.

The trial will continue at 2:30pm.

Topics:  court gold coast police police shooting



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett was an important part of the Tweed-Byron community.

CALLS go out to celebrate the life of Paul Barrett.

Asbestos fears at Kingscliff holiday park

Visitors to Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park raised asbestos fears after finds in sand.

FEARS have been raised of asbestos in areas where children play.

New marine hub to aid fight against crime

ON THE WATER: Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest.

New $3million marine hub will include a water police border-base.

Local Partners

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

CALLS are going out for the community to join and celebrate the life of colourful musician and much-loved Tweed identity Paul Barrett.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Suzi Quatro returns with live supergroup launch

DEVIL GATE: Suzi Quatro will reignite her love affair with Australia in February for the Leather Forever Encore tour.

"It's always been a special place for me”

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!