The crimes that shocked Caboolture.
The crimes that shocked Caboolture.

Caboolture’s most shocking crimes revealed

A select few grisly crimes have hit Caboolture in recent decades and shocked the community to its core.

The atrocities claimed lives, triggered an outpouring of grief and, at times, waves of controversy.

Here we look at five of the most shocking crimes to ever hit Caboolture - including the brutal Russian roulette-style killing of a woman and the tragic death of a young child left bound in her bed.

 

Murder of Leo John Coutts

Leo Coutts was killed in his own home during a botched armed robbery.
Leo Coutts was killed in his own home during a botched armed robbery.

Caboolture greyhound enthusiast Leo John Coutts was shot dead in his own home during a horrifically botched armed robbery in 2007.

In 2010 Wacol man Wayne Rocky Coombes, then 29, pleaded guilty to shooting Mr Coutts, 72, in the head with a sawn-off rifle at the elderly man's recently purchased Caboolture home on October 12, 2007.

Leo Coutts was murdered at his Caboolture home. Picture: Peter Bull
Leo Coutts was murdered at his Caboolture home. Picture: Peter Bull

The body of the hobby greyhound trainer was found by one of his daughters at the home, which had its front door smashed in.

Three years later Coombes pleaded guilty to murder and a charge of attempted armed robbery in company when he faced the Queensland Supreme Court.

He is now serving a life sentence for the killing.

 

Manslaughter of tot tied up in bed

Little Beanca Newman, pictured here aged one, died after she was left tied up in her bed in a Caboolture caravan in 2001.
Little Beanca Newman, pictured here aged one, died after she was left tied up in her bed in a Caboolture caravan in 2001.

The sickening death of an 18-month-old girl shook Caboolture after it was heard her mother and her boyfriend hog tied little girl in her bed in 2001.

Beanca and with her mother Rebecca Haliday.
Beanca and with her mother Rebecca Haliday.

 

Daniel Green, 28, was jailed for six years in 2003 for his role in the death of little Beanca Newman and was released on parole in June 2006 after serving half of his sentence.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter after admitting he and his then-girlfriend Rebecca Halliday had tied Haliday's daughter Beanca up night after night in her bed in a bid to keep her quiet.

Beanca was found laying face down on a bed in a Caboolture caravan.

Halliday, 22 at the time of the death, was also jailed for six years for her daughter's death.

READ MORE: HOGTIE MUM PREGNANT AGAIN

 

'Russian roulette' murder of Margaret Rose James

Murder victim Margaret Rose James.
Murder victim Margaret Rose James.

Fifty-five-year-old Margaret Rose James was fatally shot in the head when drug dealer Alan Lace fired a revolver at her in her Caboolture home on July 7, 1999.

Two days later Lace was arrested and would later claim in court that he was playing a Russian roulette style game with James as she lay in the bed of her flat.

An account from a witness, however claimed the pair had an altercation and Lace had accused James of spreading rumours.

Police collect evidence at the murder scene of Margaret Rose James in Caboolture. Picture: Graeme Parkes
Police collect evidence at the murder scene of Margaret Rose James in Caboolture. Picture: Graeme Parkes

Lace was convicted of murder on November 1, 2000, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

However on November 20, 2000 he appealed against the conviction and on July 4, 2001 the

Court of Appeal set aside the conviction and ordered a retrial.

It was, however, a failed attempts as on November 16, 2001 he was again convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

Body in the barrel case

Norman Desmond Cheney’s remains were found stuffed inside a barrel which was dumped in the Caboolture River.
Norman Desmond Cheney’s remains were found stuffed inside a barrel which was dumped in the Caboolture River.

The gruesome discovery of a body in a barrel by a Burpengary dad out with his children on the banks of the Caboolture River in February 2011 shocked the region.

The barrel, which contained the remains of Sandgate man Norman Desmond Cheney, was identified as an old Buderim Ginger Factory export container.
The barrel, which contained the remains of Sandgate man Norman Desmond Cheney, was identified as an old Buderim Ginger Factory export container.

 

Norman Desmond Cheney's jaw, skull and teeth were visible at one end of the 44-gallon barrel, his foot at the other.

Mr Cheney, 41, had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and a slit throat.

Eventually, police were lead to the victim's "best mate", Anthony Charles Oliver.

Mr Cheney, a father of three, was last seen at his Sandgate home in December, 2010, and his body was discovered on in February 2011, at Rocksberg after extensive flooding in the Caboolture area.

Courts heard Oliver, 39 at the time of his trial, admitted he was responsible for loading the body into the barrel at an Esk property and dumping it in the river.

But he pleaded not guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to murder.

Oliver, who the court heard was in a love triangle with his mate and his wife Trichelle Cheney, had claimed he killed Cheney out of self-defence.

Artist’s impression of Anthony Charles Oliver, who killed Norman Cheney.
Artist’s impression of Anthony Charles Oliver, who killed Norman Cheney.

On December 5, 2013, Oliver was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Oliver appealed the conviction in 2015 but it was dismissed by a Supreme Court judge in 2016.

READ MORE: OLIVER GUILTY OF MURDER

Manslaughter of Mason Jet Lee

Mason Lee was left to die after suffering serious injuries.
Mason Lee was left to die after suffering serious injuries.

The unimaginably painful death of toddler Mason Jet Lee in 2016 has left arguably the deepest scar on the Caboolture community.

Mason was 21 months old when he was found dead in his Caboolture home.

Courts heard that in June 2016 his step-father William O'Sullivan punched the boy so hard he ruptured the boy's organs.

Andrew William O'Sullivan was convicted of the manslaughter of Mason Lee. Picture: Supplied
Andrew William O'Sullivan was convicted of the manslaughter of Mason Lee. Picture: Supplied

An autopsy on the boy revealed the extent of the toddler's harrowing injuries including bruising to his head, chest and abdomen and a broken tail bone.

O'Sullivan had refused to seek help and left little Mason to die a slow and painful death over days.

Mason Lee's mother, Anne Maree Lee. Picture: Seven Network
Mason Lee's mother, Anne Maree Lee. Picture: Seven Network

O'Sullivan (in 2018) and Mason's mother Anne Maree Lee (in 2019) were each sentenced to nine years imprisonment over the 21-month-old toddler's manslaughter.

In 2019, following an appeal by Queensland's Attorney General, O'Sullivan's sentence was increased to 12 years jail for manslaughter.

 

Originally published as Caboolture's most shocking crimes revealed


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