Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 05/05/2006, pg. 21

ONE of three teens charged with the brutal murders of three people in Toowoomba in May last year ran for help with his ear partly ripped off and a bleeding head wound.

The youth, then 16, went to a friend’s house and said: “BJ, there’s three people dead in my flat,” a witness told Toowoomba Children’s Court yesterday.

The witness, Graham Hobbs, whose nickname is BJ, lived near the murder scene.

Hobbs said he had known one of the victims, Michael Thompson, for a couple of months and knew one of the accused, who had been staying at Mr Thompson’s North St unit.

Hobbs told the court the youth arrived at his house about 7-8pm with two girls, one of whom was carrying a baby.

He told the court one of the girls told him if we tell the police this happened we will be dead.

Two Rockhampton teenagers, aged 16 and 17 at the time of the killings, have been charged with three counts of murder, rape, deprivation of liberty and torture.

A Toowoomba youth, 16, has been charged with two counts of murder, torture and deprivation of liberty.

The three accused, who cannot be named or identified, appeared in Toowoomba Children’s Court amid tight security at the beginning of a committal hearing yesterday into the murders of Tyson Wilson, 17, David Lyons, 17, and Michael Thompson, 30.

Each of the males wore handcuffs chained to security belts and were seated apart under police guard.

The court was closed to the public with only close family members of the three victims and media representatives admitted to the hearing.

Prosecutor Sergeant Tony Costa told the court 68 exhibits and statements from 161 witnesses would be tendered in evidence.

Detective Senior Constable Smithard told the court police installed a surveillance device in the Toowoomba watchhouse and recorded conversations between the accused while they were in custody.

He said about 30 extracts from the recordings had been dubbed to a CD and he agreed that they amounted to admissions.

After hearing the compilation, a defence barrister told the court the recording was unintelligible and asked to hear the original recording because if the surveillance tape contained admissions they

would be the most probative and most telling evidence.

Several of the victims’ parents and other close family members were visibly distressed during parts of the hearing and some held hands in mutual support as they left the courthouse.

The hearing will continue today in the Toowoomba court.

Copyright 2006 / Courier Mail