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



Bluesfest royalty to drop by

GUITAR LEGEND: Santana at Byron Bay Blues Festival 2013.

Legends to grace Bluesfest' stage in 2017.

On Wright track to crown

TOP LEAD: With four wins on the board, Tyler Wright  will be hard to stop and is a sure bet to claim this year's WSL World Women's title.

HAS Tyler Wright already stitched up this year's world title?

Call for more Tweed special ed places

SUPPORT: Jacob Lorenzo, 18, from Tweed Heads South struggled to find a special education position when he moved up to the Tweed.

More special ed places needed in Tweed.

Local Partners

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Callea channels legend for Glitter

WHAM: Anthony Callea plays the Glitter Festival on October 8 at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Anthony Callea brings the songs of a star to the glitter strip.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction