Justine Jones' sister frightened by killer's lack of remorse

Jackie Jones with her sister Justine in happier times.
Jackie Jones with her sister Justine in happier times.

IMAGES of Justine Jones being "thrown away like garbage" still haunt her sister Jackie's thoughts.

But it is the lack of remorse killer Richard Coburn shows for his actions that frightens her most.

Ms Jones, through a victim impact statement read in Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday, said Coburn was a liar and she feared he would never be rehabilitated.

After two days of deliberating, a jury could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Coburn intended to murder Ms Jones, 22, at her Alexandra Headland unit on the third State of Origin match in 2010.

They acquitted him of murder and instead found him guilty of manslaughter and dumping her body in a wheelie bin at a neighbouring property.

Justine's body was found eight days later at the Nambour rubbish tip. A compacting garbage truck horrifically crushed her body that a cause of death could never be determined.

"The dramatic and disturbing way in which Justine was selfishly taken from us still toys with my emotions," Jackie said.

"People tell me to remember the good times but I find more often than not I'm thinking about her last night on this earth, what she must have been thinking or feeling.

"Unfortunately I would never see who she would turn into or what wonderful things she could do with her life.

"I will never be an auntie and can no longer reminisce our childhood memories with anyone.

The body of 22-year-old Alexandra Headland woman Justine Jones was found at Nambour dump.
The body of 22-year-old Alexandra Headland woman Justine Jones was found at Nambour dump. Cade Mooneycm

"The night of my sister's death I also lost my mum and dad.

"I witnessed them self-destruct and become empty shells of themselves."

Justice Peter Applegarth sentenced Coburn to 10.5 years in jail. He has already served 1119 days in custody since his arrest on July 16, 2010.

He said there was no evidence of what precipitated the actions that led to Ms Jones death and he would only be speculating to suggest Coburn got upset about her wanting to go out.

"It's a reasonable inference that each of you was drunk and an argument developed, you assaulted her in some way," he said.

"I am reasonably satisfied there was a degree of violence.

"It's possible it was a single punch, it might have been many more, but it's unlikely to have been a simple push.

"That conclusion is reinforced by the actions that followed.

Justine Jones
Justine Jones Contributed

"They're not suggestive of someone who simply pushed Ms Jones over, who, even if somewhat panicking, might have been expected to call an ambulance.

"Ms Jones wasn't even given the slight dignity of a bush burial in shallow grave.

"What you did was a terrible indignity.

"What you did was selfish.

"Had you told police where Ms Jones' body could be found then wouldn't have suffered the final indignity of her body being collected by garbage truck."

Coburn's family sat stoically behind him throughout the two-week trial.

They declined to comment after watching watchhouse officers march him out of the courtroom for the last time.

His family will never be the same either.

Father camps out on his daughter's grave

THE grief and loss of losing Justine Jones remains so acute for father Michael that he camps out on his daughter's grave.

He not only lost his daughter but his partner of 30 years Kathleen, his job and any resemblance of his former life.

"I live 15 minutes away from where she's buried (in Narooma in NSW)," he said.

"I sleep at the cemetery every birthday and Christmas. I go there every night with my dog.

"He stuffed up my life," he said of Richard Coburn, who was convicted of killing the 22-year-old.

Mother Kathleen said their family of four had become three, including sister Jackie, and they all felt alone - unable to communicate with each other about the nightmares in their heads.

"We all feel dead inside but I expect to feel this way for the rest of my day and dream of the day that I can be with her again," she said.

Topics:  court editors picks justine jones police richard coburn

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