Why was he out on bail? Premier’s please explain over murder accused

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has questioned why a young man was out on bail after a couple expecting their first child were allegedly struck and killed by a stolen LandCruiser he was driving.

Jan 28, 2021, updated Jan 28, 2021
Crash victims Kate Leadbetter and Matt Field, whose tragic deaths put the spotlight on Queensland's youth crime issues. (ABC photo)

Crash victims Kate Leadbetter and Matt Field, whose tragic deaths put the spotlight on Queensland's youth crime issues. (ABC photo)

A 17-year-old from Logan, who cannot be identified, has been charged with murder and a string of other offences over their deaths in Brisbane.

Family and the local community are devastated after couple Kate Leadbetter, 31, and Matthew Field, 37, were killed while walking their dogs at Alexandra Hills on Australia Day.

Palaszczuk says “everyone’s hearts are breaking” over the incident.

She is open to further tightening laws if necessary, saying the teenager allegedly involved was on bail.

“If there’s anything more that we can do to strengthen our laws we absolutely will, but at the middle of last year, we actually tightened the laws significantly. We said that there is a presumption against bail,” she told Nine’s Today program.

“So I want to know very clearly why the courts released this young man as well? We don’t have answers here that I want, and the community wants, and the families want.”

Palaszczuk said the Government had committed to more than 2000 extra police over the next four years and invested more than $500 million in youth justice.

She said the community and governments needed to step up and deal with youth justice, but she was careful when asked if magistrates needed to do the same.

An autopsy is being undertaken today on Katherine Leadbetter to help police determine if a teenager will face more charges over the death of her unborn child.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said they are awaiting further drug testing and autopsy results.

“We will await analysis of the autopsies but also, legal advice in considering any further charges that might be applicable in this case,” he said.

“I know that there has been much interest, as there is from us, and issues to do with the unborn baby that was obviously impacted in this scenario.

“So we will await the autopsies before we can make clear decisions about that.”

The boy was remanded in custody by the Childrens Court after he was yesterday charged with two counts of murder.

Assistant Commissioner Codd appealed for information from the public and asked neighbouring businesses to provide their CCTV footage.

Police allege the 17-year-old boy ran a red light and deliberately collided with a truck at an intersection, before the four-wheel-drive rolled and ploughed into the couple who were crossing the road.

Outside court on Wednesday, the teen’s lawyer Patrick Horgan said it had been a “very traumatic experience for everyone involved” and declined to comment further.

The teen has been remanded to reappear by videolink in March.

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