OTHER TIMES: Brandon Matthews and his fiancee Clara Phung TiÍu Nguyen in 2010.
OTHER TIMES: Brandon Matthews and his fiancee Clara Phung TiÍu Nguyen in 2010. Contributed

Accused found guilty of Brandon's murder

EVERY night Paula Matthews lies awake, reliving the moment of the fatal blow she never saw her son receive, but the horror of which she can imagine.

Each day Clara Nguyen regrets not telling her fiance 'goodbye' or 'I love you'.

On Monday, this mother and lover sobbed together in grief and relief as their loved one's killer was convicted of murder.

Before a packed courtroom of family and friends and following three days of deliberations, a jury found Zachary Michael Moloney guilty of murdering Brandon Matthews, 18, in a street fight in January, 2012.

Moloney was found not guilty of murdering Brad Girling in the same fight.

Moloney's co-accused, Luke Michael Jackson, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Moloney and Jackson were also found not guilty of unlawfully wounding David Barker, who was also in the fight in North Ipswich.

The four men got into the brawl on Hill St after Jackson asked Moloney's ex-girlfriend for $50.

But the ex-girlfriend's friends - Mr Matthews and Mr Girling - did not approve and went to confront Jackson and Moloney.

Mr Matthews and Mr Girling died after being stabbed.

Through her victim impact statement, Mr Matthews' fiancee said Mr Matthews and Moloney used to be friends.

She said they met while working for Ipswich City Council, but drifted apart.

With her partner by her side, Mrs Matthews described the pain of seeing her son at the hospital and finally believing her "bear" had died.

"I laid my head on his chest and I didn't hear a heartbeat," she said.

Mrs Matthews said she lay awake every night with a movie loop playing in her head.

"Each night is the same old thoughts," she said.

"The feeling of terror as my mind replays the chilling blow. I'm a shell of the person I was before."

Jury members shed tears as their verdict was handed down and several stayed to hear Justice Margaret Wilson sentence Moloney.

She highlighted the 24-year-old Ipswich man's criminal history including serious assault on police.

Justice Wilson said Moloney's conduct exhibited defiance for the law.

"In committing this offence you have displayed disrespect for the sanctity of human life," she said.

"You show no remorse."

Moloney was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.



Council puts the brakes on bigger trucks on Tweed roads

Council puts the brakes on bigger trucks on Tweed roads

Safety is main concern for council.

Mother of Anzac protester apologises

Mother of Anzac protester apologises

The protester disrupted the Anzac Day service in Murwillumbah.

Tweed star is synching the competition

Tweed star is synching the competition

Tweed's synchronised swimmers dominate nationals

Local Partners