Young kiwi mother dies after heartbreaking attack

By Kate Hassett

Young kiwi mother dies after heartbreaking attack
Tara Brown becomes yet another tragic victim of domestic violence after shocking attack

Tara Brown, 24, died overnight after losing her fight for life in hospital.

The mother of one suffered critical head injuries following the incident on Tuesday morning where she was run off the road by former partner, Lionel Patea.

Both Brown and Patea had moved to the Gold Coast from their native home of New Zealand.

It has been reported that Patea, a former Bandido bikie gang member, had been waiting for Brown at the childcare centre their child attends, on the morning of the attack.

From there, he followed her, where police allege they were involved in a physical altercation while stopped in separate cars at traffic lights between Nerang and Molendinar. After Brown’s car was forced off the road and into a house, horrified neighbours witnessed her being brutally beaten with a cast iron cover of a fire hydrant.

Witnesses made several attempts to stop Patea’s onslaught, finally dragging him off her, when he escaped, hijacking a council worker’s car.

He later turned himself in at Coomera police station, suffering a number of stab wounds that police believe to be self-inflicted.

Following the attack, Brown was immediately transported to Gold Coast University hospital with critical head injuries.

Queensland police confirmed that the 24-year-old man was initially charged with attempted murder, upgraded to murder following Brown’s death overnight.

Tara with ex-partner Patea who will be charged with murder

The brutal attack comes just a week after she had reportedly appealed for help from police. Friends said that Ms Brown had shown police threatening text messages and asked for assistance leaving him, before being told to go elsewhere.

Queensland Police issued a statement after her ignored pleas were made public knowledge.

“The appropriateness of the police response … has been reported to the Queensland Police Service Ethical Standards Command and is currently being investigated by a senior officer,” the official statement said.

Brown’s death sparks new debate over the government’s stance on domestic violence and the seemingly ineffective means by which we are treating this epidemic.

Whilst Brown sought a domestic violence protection order from police, against Patea, and asked for help in leaving him, she was ignored and dismissed – a decision by a system that could have saved her life.

Detective Inspector Brian Swan said the shocking case had affected all those involved.

“At first police thought a paver or brick was used in the alleged attack on the woman but it was a cast iron metal plate that had come loose from a footpath hydrant,” he alleged.

“I have been a police officer for more than 30 years and this sort of thing still shocks me — it is shocking.

“There were a number of members of the public who tried to help the woman during the incident in Macquarie Ave and in my view they were very courageous.

 “A large number of family and friends are at the hospital with the woman — it is a devastating time for them.”
Friends and family have paid tribute to Tara over social media, expressing bereavement at a life taken too soon.


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