Jayde Kendall
Jayde Kendall Contributed

Girls’ alarm at being grabbed by the throat during sex

MURDER-ACCUSED Brenden Jacob Bennetts enjoyed having "rough" sex with girls and squeezing them by the throat, a prosecutor says.

Mr Bennetts, 21, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 16-year-old schoolgirl Jayde Kendall but guilty to manslaughter, and guilty to interfering with a corpse.

At Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday, the Crown rejected the manslaughter plea, so Bennetts' murder trial will go ahead.

After Jayde's body was found on August 27, 2015, scientific tests were inconclusive as to the cause of death, prosecutor Vicki Loury said.

But she told the jury they could expect to her from two of Bennett's former girlfriends who were alarmed when he squeezed them hard around the throat during sex.

Ms Loury said Mr Bennetts lied to police, his girlfriend and even his mum about what happened the day Jayde died.

"He told his mother the police wanted the clothes he was wearing on Friday the 14th of August."

But the shirt he mentioned was not the one he was seen wearing when withdrawing money from Jayde's account, Ms Loury said.

Dad: Jayde's disappearance out of character

Jayde's father Bruce Morrissey said his daughter was born on February 18, 1999.

Jayde's mother "passed away when Jayde was seven years old" and thereafter Mr Morrissey was a solo father, raising Jayde and her younger brother.

"She was always quiet. She was determined to do her studies and fulfil assignments. She was very conscientious."

Jayde was "extremely close" to her brother, Mr Morrissey said.

He said he noticed his daughter experiencing anxiety in about 2013.

"She used to freeze up a lot. If she got nervous she couldn't perform normal tasks. She would work herself up."

"She sometimes self-harmed but, only for a short time, after which "she re-applied herself," Mr Morrissey said.

He said Jayde's disappearance on August 14, 2015 was totally out of character.

She was in Year 11 and planned to attend her Year 12 formal.

Schoolmate: We were both bullied

A student currently at TAFE, who was a schoolmate of Jayde's from about 2013, said both girls were bullied.

"It was mostly about our weight."

The girls were also teased because they had problems with their ankles.

The student said Jayde seemed to have more possessions than normal with her on the day she was last seen alive.

Another witness who gave evidence on Monday afternoon was a recent high school graduate who had been a friend of Jayde's.

She was on Highview Avenue, south of Lockyer District High School, when she last saw her friend on August 14, 2015.

"She was walking across the oval towards [my sister] and I. We had a conversation. We were mainly talking about how she had posted something on Facebook."

The trial continues.

EARLIER: IT started out "like any other school day" for Gatton schoolgirl Jayde Kendall, a prosecutor has told a murder trial.

Brenden Jacob Bennetts, 21, is on trial charged with murdering the teenage girl, who was last seen alive on Friday August 14, 2015.

16-year-old Jayde lived with her dad and younger brother. Her mum had died several years earlier, Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury told Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday.

Jayde's dad dropped her off at Lockyer District High School in Gatton that Friday in 2015.

The teenager planned to work a four-hour shift at McDonald's in Gatton after school.

Most of her friends and acquaintances were her McDonald's colleagues, rather than schoolmates, Ms Loury said.

Jayde once badly sprained her ankle and had to wear an ankle bracelet.

"She had been bullied about that, it seems at times," Ms Loury said. "She had also been bullied about her weight," the prosecutor added.

Jayde was a hard worker, and had saved up enough money to buy her own car, Ms Loury said.

Mr Bennetts and Kendall knew each other, and Ms Loury read out text messages the pair had exchanged on that Friday.

"Let's just take things slowly to start with," the girl wrote.

"We can do that," Mr Bennetts responded.

At 3.19pm, Jayde texted Mr Bennetts, saying she did not know where he was.

That afternoon, witnesses saw "a distinctive red car" with Jayde and a male matching Mr Bennetts' description Ms Loury said.

Jayde never showed up to work that evening.

After 9pm, when her father discovered she hadn't turned up, he called police and accessed her Facebook account, which showed no recent activity.

Jayde's body was found 13 days later at Upper Tenthill, about 12km southwest of the high school in Gatton.

A man in the area saw an arm, part of a decomposing body covered in long grass.

Her high school uniform was still on.

CCTV footage showed Mr Bennetts going to a cash machine and using Jayde's card, Ms Loury said.

Carrying out multiple transactions, he made an obvious attempt to shield his face from the cameras, the prosecutor said.

Using Jayde's PIN, 1849, he checked her savings account balance. It had $78, and he withdrew $50, Ms Loury said.

Enquiries were made about Jayde's credit and cheque account balances, but she had no such accounts.

"He then withdraws the last $20 out of her savings account."

According to Ms Loury, when police questioned Mr Bennetts, he told investigators "she needed to get away" and "he withdrew money for her while she remained in the back seat of his car".

Jayde said she was "heading to Brisbane", he added.

Police analysed his phone. Among other details, it was found that Mr Bennetts sent himself a text message with just four digits: 1849.

EARLIER: ACCUSED of murdering Gatton schoolgirl Jayde Kendall, Brenden Jacob Bennetts has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

The Crown rejected his manslaughter plea on Monday morning at Brisbane Supreme Court, where Bennettts' trial is expected to last three weeks.

Bennetts, 21, also pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse.

Justice Lyons said sentencing for that charge would happen at the end of the trial.
 

 

Jayde Kendall and Brenden Bennetts (right)
Jayde Kendall and Brenden Bennetts (right) Contributed

Miss Kendall, 16, went missing in Gatton in August 2015 before her body was found in a paddock in Upper Tent Hill almost two weeks later. 

The jury has now been selected.

Jayde Kendall's memorial. Her ashes were laid to rest near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a city she dreamed of visiting one day.
Jayde Kendall's memorial. Her ashes were laid to rest near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a city she dreamed of visiting one day. Melanie Keyte

Crown prosecutor Vicki Lowry has told jurors they can expect to hear from several police officers based in the Lockyer Valley, Brisbane and Surfers Paradise.

These include scientific officers and scene of crime officers.

The Crown also expected to call a forensic biologist, forensic pathologist, a botanist, and several high school graduates.

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