Mother, 20YO Son TO Plead Guilty To Tiahleigh Palmer Charges
The Queensland foster family charged over the death of schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer is "very much divided" after two members agreed to appear as prosecution witnesses, their lawyer says.
The cases against Julene Thorburn, 54, and her son Josh, 20, were mentioned in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday morning after they were last month charged with perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The pair will plead guilty at their next appearance on November 21, their solicitor Jason Jacobson told the court in their absence.
Julene Thorburn's partner Rick, 56, is in Brisbane's Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre after he was charged with Tiahleigh's murder, while her other son Trent, 19, is also behind bars and faces an incest charge.
Foster mum to plead guilty https://t.co/nXCViBUlmg— The Australian (@australian) October 10, 2016
Outside court, Mr Jacobson said the charges against his two clients stemmed from their alleged failure to pass on "secret" information about Tiahleigh's disappearance.
"Albeit late, they are now giving their complete co-operation to the police investigations," he said.
"They've now taken the step of being prosecution witnesses to give evidence about everything they know, so you can take it from that that theirs very much is a family divided."
Police previously revealed Julene Thorburn engaged a lawyer before her arrest but have declined to provide details about any deal she struck.
Tiahleigh's biological mother Cindy Palmer, who attended the hearing flanked by several supporters wearing a "Justice For Tiahleigh" t-shirt, said the pair should have pleaded guilty a long time ago.
"They've had 11 months to plead guilty," she said.
"They've been lying and being deceitful for the last 11 months, the least they should do is start being truthful now."
The Beenleigh Magistrates Court last month heard Trent Thorburn allegedly admitted, over Facebook Messenger, that he had sex with 12-year-old Tiahleigh and was worried she may have been pregnant.
In the week after the arrests, detectives used an excavator to dig up the Thorburns' Chambers Flat acreage and named the property as their "primary crime scene".
The schoolgirl's uniform and backpack were never found after her body was discovered on the banks of the Pimpama River last October.
Ms Palmer said she had been "up and down" over the last few weeks.
"(I'm) just trying to get through each day as it comes," she said.
KEY EVENTS IN MURDER OF BRISBANE SCHOOLGIRL TIAHLEIGH PALMER:
October 30 - Tiahleigh is dropped off at Marsden State High School
November 5 - A missing person alert is issued hours before an unidentified body is found by fishermen on the banks of Pimpama River
November 7 - Body confirmed as Tiahleigh's, SES volunteers begin searching river
November 8 - Friends hold candlelight vigil
November 9 - Detectives question school friends
November 10 - River search resumes but police admit they have few answers; Queensland government vows to review response processes for missing children in state care
November 11 - Search upgraded to include land surrounding school
November 13 - Police set up Crime Stoppers marquee, believe Tiahleigh may have wagged classes
November 14 - Tiahleigh's funeral honours a "beautifully imperfect" girl
November 30 - Police divers return to search Pimpama River
December 4 - Search widened after Tiahleigh's shoe found; police release footage of classroom two days prior to disappearance
February 15 - $250,000 reward offered for information; more than 300 people contact Crime Stoppers
March 14 - Tiahleigh's biological mother Cindy makes public appeal to help find killer
March 23 - Police begin searching vacant house at Waterford West on Logan Reserve Road
July 11 - Queensland government announces new protocols on how authorities are to deal with children missing from out-of-home care in direct response to Tiahleigh's disappearance and murder
September 13 - Police seize a blue Ford Falcon XR6 they believe is linked to Tiahleigh's disappearance.
September 20 - Tiahleigh's foster father is charged with her murder; his wife and two males are also taken into custody.
AAP; Photos: AAP