Girlfriend of slain bikie’s tragic past
THE partner of slain bikie Shane Bowden - at home with her kids when he was gunned down outside in an execution style shooting - had previously avoided jail for her role in a fake rego scam linked to a criminal network run by a then abusive ex-boyfriend and his brother.
Crystal Kaye Clement, who is the owner of the Pimpama unit where Bowden was sprayed with bullets at close range, had previously been in a relationship with another man with a checkered criminal history.
Clement had dated convicted drug kingpin Joshua Thornbury, who subjected her to "relentless violence" a court has previously been told.
She was sentenced to three-and-a-half years' jail, with immediate parole, in 2016 for her part in a scheme which enabled stolen vehicles to be rebirthed by a criminal network.
The young mum was charged after a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into a drug trafficking ring, headed by Thornbury and his brother Terrence, uncovered the fraud.
On Monday hours after the Bowden shooting, she broke down outside of the unit complex and sobbed as she was comforted by police.
Detectives said Clement and her two children were upstairs at the time.
The BMW Bowden was driving, which was ambushed by two hooded shooters, also belonged to Clement.
Police said Clement and Bowden had only been together for a short time.
Between July 2012 and November 2013 when the fraud occurred, she had been in a physically and psychologically abusive relationship with Thornbury, a court heard at the time.
During that time she helped the network obtain nine driver's licenses and 25 bogus registrations.
Her legal team at the time said she was unable to escape Thornbury's rage and found herself caught up in his criminality.
During sentencing, then-chief judge Kerry O'Brien agreed Thornbury's influence on Clement couldn't be understated.
"Your relationship to Thornbury was characterised by domestic violence," Mr O'Brien said at the time. "The controlling influence of Thornbury was a significant factor in your offending."
The Thornbury brothers were sentenced to 10 years jail in November 2016 for trafficking almost 3000 kilograms of cannabis.
Clement's lawyer previously told the court she turned her life around after her arrest.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith on Monday said the family were obviously upset.
"It's not something you expect to happen in your home. Nobody deserves to die in this manner but you live by the sword you die by the sword," he said.
Bowden had been living with her after fleeing Melbourne, and neighbours of the quiet unit complex said they had only seen him around in the past two weeks.
A resident of the complex told the Bulletin she and the children were ushered from the unit about 40 minutes after authorities were called on Monday, and appeared shocked.
The Bulletin is not suggesting Clement's history has anything to do with Bowden's murder.
Clement was approached for comment.
Originally published as Girlfriend of slain bikie's tragic past