‘Why was he out on bail?’: Furious Premier demands answers

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has demanded to know why a teenager charged with the murder of Kate Leadbetter and Matthew Field was out on bail.

The couple were killed while walking their dogs - allegedly by a teenager on bail in a stolen car.

Their family and members of the community have expressed outrage over youth laws which allowed the teenager to be out on bail.

"The family and the community and I want answers," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"I want answers just like everyone else. I want to know why the courts allowed this young man out on bail."

Mr Palaszczuk promised a coronial inquest into the tragedy.

"There will be a full coronial inquiry and this young man is now on murder charges, there will be a full court case and there will be a thorough police investigation," she said.

"If there's anything more we can do to strengthen our laws, we absolutely will.

"At the middle of last year, we actually strengthened the act, we made it tougher."

"We said that there is a presumption against bail and the LNP, including Dan Purdie, voted against that. They did not support those tougher laws."

 

She said more than $500 million has been invested in youth justice.

"We're building more Youth Detention Centres, but youth justice is a community issue as well and we all need to step up."

It comes after Opposition Leader David Crisafulli on Wednesday promised he will be "asking questions" following revelations the driver charged with their deaths was out on bail for driving offences.

But Ms Palaszczuk said she would not be "commenting on facts that I'm not privy to" as she described the pregnant couple's death as "an absolute tragedy".

"I really feel for their families and I express our deep condolences," she said.

Asked if she had confidence that the Government's bail laws were working given the 17-year-old's background, Ms Palaszczuk said: "There will be a full police investigation."

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli

 

"I'm not going to be commenting on facts that I'm not privy to," she said.

"I will leave that to the police to do so.

She said the Government had toughened up its bail offending laws and they were very strict.

The Government was last year forced to amend the Youth Justice Act to make it clear that a young person who was a danger to the community must be denied bail.

It followed amendments a year earlier that specified there was an "explicit presumption in favour of release" when considering bail.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli promised that the LNP would be asking questions.

"But today is not a day for that," he said.

"I make the promise to everyone that this is not going to be something that we intend to walk away from.

"When these tragedies strike, they don't just rip a family apart - they rip a community apart, and we will be asking questions on behalf of Queensland in the days, weeks and months ahead."

 

Victims Matty Field and Kate Leadbetter (Facebook image)
Victims Matty Field and Kate Leadbetter (Facebook image)

 

 

 

Originally published as LNP: Questions will be asked on bail laws


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