Horror backyard find: Detail of couple’s alleged terror deaths

 

An elderly couple killed in Queensland's first alleged terror attack were found dead in their back yard with stab wounds and blunt force trauma to their necks and chests.

The tragic details were revealed in a pre-inquest hearing into the deaths of Zoe and Maurice Antill who are believed to have been killed by purported Islamic State supporter Raghe Abdi, who was shot dead by police hours after the couple were murdered at their Parkinson home.

The court today heard Abdi had been released on bail in September 2020 and was required to wear a tracking device which was removed at some point before the couple were killed in mid-December 2020.

Raghe Abdi in a confrontation with Queensland police officers on the Logan Motorway last December.
Raghe Abdi in a confrontation with Queensland police officers on the Logan Motorway last December.

The pre-inquest conference had been scheduled to be heard in Brisbane but was moved to Southport late yesterday in response to the current coronavirus lockdown.

Counsel Assisting the Coroner Rhiannon Nelsen this morning told the coroner's court it was believed Mr Antill, 87, and Mrs Antill, 86, were killed on either December 16 or 17 at their home.

"Mr and Mrs Antill's bodies were discovered by police in the afternoon of the 17th of December 2020 after a welfare check was called in by a health care worker who provided assistance to the couple," Ms Helsen said.

"All prior attempts to contact the couple had been unsuccessful, which was reportedly quite out of character."

Ms Helsen told the court that after forcibly entering the property, police found Mr and Mrs Antill lying dead in their back yard.

"From the information currently available it appears Mr and Mrs Antill had sustained fatal stab wounds and blunt force trauma, predominantly to their neck and chest," she said.

"The back door to the dwelling was found to be open however inside the house was found to be neat and tidy.

No other persons were located in or around the property.

As both deaths were clearly suspicious, a crime scene was declared and detectives were called to attend."

Raghe Abdi was a student at John Paul College south of Brisbane. Picture: Renae Droop
Raghe Abdi was a student at John Paul College south of Brisbane. Picture: Renae Droop

Ms Helsen said investigations suggested the couple were killed by Raghe Abdi who was shot and killed by police on the Logan Motorway on December 17.

"Police had been alerted to Mr Abdi's presence in the breakdown area of the Logan Motorway at around 6 that morning and had attended attempting to move him from the area and the evident danger," she said.

"Mr Abdi was reportedly agitated and pulled a knife from his pocket.

"He was directed to put down the weapon however continued to brandish the knife while moving towards police and was then fatally shot."

Ms Helsen said body worn camera footage from one of the officers captured the incident and would be used as part of the coronial inquest.

She said Mr Abdi had been granted bail months earlier in September 2020 and one of the requirements of his release was that he wear a tracking bracelet while in the community.

"This had been removed prior to the interaction with police on that motorway," she said.

Ms Helsen said police investigations were still underway and post mortem reports were unlikely to be received "for some time".

"It is anticipated given the scope of these investigations that it will be a number of months before any coronial reports outlining the evidence obtained or the conclusions reached are able to be submitted," she said.

Police at the home of Maurice and Zoe Antill after their bodies were discovered. Picture: Tara Croser.
Police at the home of Maurice and Zoe Antill after their bodies were discovered. Picture: Tara Croser.

She said given the intrinsic links between the three deaths it was proposed all three matters should be heard at one conjoint inquest.

A further pre-inquest conference will be held in September and it is hoped the inquest will be listed for early 2022.

Ms Helsen said the inquest would explore the circumstances of all three deaths, the appropriateness of the police actions in relation to Mr Abdi and the adequacy of police investigations.

Originally published as Horror backyard find: Detail of couple's alleged terror deaths

 



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