Patea pleads guilty to Tara Brown’s murder-NewsCO

February 27, 2017

Take a look at the gripping details behind the brutal murder of Tara Brown.

Tara Brown died on the Gold Coast in September 2015. Lionel Patea has been charged with her murder. File picture

LIONEL Patea has pleaded guilty to the murder of his former girlfriend Tara Brown.

Ms Brown, 24, died after Patea ran her off the road in a suburban Gold Coast street in September, 2015.

As she lay trapped in the car, Patea viciously beat her with a cast-iron water hydrant cover.

Ms Brown had just dropped their daughter, Aria, off at childcare when the shocking attack unfolded.

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAPSource:AAP

Patea entered guilty pleas to murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful use of a motor vehicle shorty after 10am this morning, before his trial was scheduled to start.

Ms Brown’s mother, Natalie, wept as he was brought into the dock wearing a navy suit, white shirt and black tie.

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.Source:News Corp Australia

It is understood Ms Brown made a harrowing Triple 0 call before her death, which was to be a key piece of evidence in the trial.

The young mum suffered critical head injuries and died the next day in hospital.

Patea’s sentencing hearing has begun, with evidence heard of the brave witnesses who attempted to stop Patea’s brutal actions.

One man, who lived in a nearby home, had helped Patea to get into the car after he ran Ms Brown off the road, believing he was trying to help her. He couldn’t have imagined what would happen next.

Crown prosecutor Carl Heaton QC has told the court Patea began beating Ms Brown with the cover of a water hydrant.

Ms Brown was on the phone to Triple 0 at the time and the attack was recorded.

Lionel Patea has pleaded guilty to the murder of Tara Brown. Picture: Facebook

Lionel Patea has pleaded guilty to the murder of Tara Brown. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

Mr Heaton said 16 “thumps” are heard on the audio, and then a female witness can be heard saying: “what the f**k are you doing”.

There are another 13 “thumps”, Mr Heaton said, “followed by silence”.

The female witness jumped on Patea’s back at one stage and later stood between him and Ms Brown as she lay trapped in the car and told him to “piss off”.

The male witness had tried to pull him from Ms Brown and phone police, to no avail.

Her death sent shockwaves through the nation, and that grief was compounded when just two days later a Karina Lock was murdered by her husband at the Helensvale McDonald’s.

The domestic violence murders sparked calls from the community for the State Government to act.


National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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