Father fears murdered daughter forgotten by police

Annette Mason was murdered in 1989. No one has been charged in relation to her death.
Annette Mason was murdered in 1989. No one has been charged in relation to her death.

THE father of murdered Toowoomba teen Annette Jane Mason fears authorities have forgotten about his daughter after a renewed call for a coronial inquest into her death was rejected.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath rejected The Chronicle's call for Miss Mason's murder to be revisited despite mulling over the request for three weeks.

She said she had been advised there was insufficient evidence for a new coronial inquiry to be ordered, but said she feels sorry for the family's loss.

Miss Mason's badly beaten body was found partly naked and concealed under a doona in the sunroom of a house she shared with two other women at 131 Anzac Ave.

MORE: No reward increase for murder info: Police Minister

It is believed Miss Mason, 15, was murdered on November 19, 1989 between 5am and 7am before her body was discovered at about 2.10pm.

An autopsy revealed Miss Mason died from extensive head injuries and police believe a piece of timber found in the laundry could have been the murder weapon.

Annette's father, Andrew Mason, talking exclusively to The Chronicle, said it would seem his daughter's case was resigned to collecting dust on a shelf.

He said he now feared his daughter's killer, or killers, would never be brought to justice.

"It seems there will never be any closure for us, which is extremely disappointing," he said.

"It would have been nice to see the people involved brought before a court and made to reveal what they know.

"It would seem Annette has been forgotten and finding her killer is not a priority, which is a shame."

Former police officer Brian Tighe.
Former police officer Brian Tighe. Scott Fletcher

Retired Toowoomba detective Brian Tighe, who spent 13 years investigating Miss Mason's murder, said Ms D'Ath's claim about insufficient evidence was simply not true.

He said he had no doubt charges would be laid if a coroner was allowed to hear all the evidence, particularly information gathered during a series of secret Queensland Crime Commission hearings.

"What I fear the most is that the police have the information and evidence but they do not actually know what they have got," he said.

"If they gave this case another look then I have no doubt a lot of things would open up for them.

"It is a total injustice this has not already happened."

Mr Tighe said he believed it was up to a coroner to decide whether the information and evidence gathered over the years was valid.

He said evidence and information gathered during the Queensland Crime Commission hearings was crucial to the case.

"One woman's evidence alone could bust this case wide open," he said.

"She witnessed things and was also told things surrounding the murder.

"There is other evidence which was provided at the time which was also particularly strong.

"But the saddest aspect about all this is Annette's family will not get the closure they are seeking."

A 1991 coronial inquest into Miss Mason's death was held over four days in Toowoomba and delivered an open finding.

The inquest heard evidence from 27 witnesses but the coroner found there was insufficient evidence to commit any one person to trial.


Topics:  annette mason coronial inquest editors picks murder police toowoomba

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