Mom gets beaten to death by boyfriend after Cops IGNORED her pleas for help because it’s ‘common for women to make false claims’
Trigger warning: This article contains information about domestic violence, assault, and death.
Tara Brown sought help from the police 5 days before she was brutally murdered by her partner.
- The police had dismissed her, claiming that it is “commonplace for women to make false allegations”.
- Five days after she went to the police, her partner beat her to death with a metal slab.
- Her partner and the father of her child, Lionel Patea, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to 20 years in 2017.
In 2015, Tara Brown’s fears for her life were ignored and dismissed by the Gold Coast police.
This week — more than FIVE years after the death of the 24-year-old woman — Queensland’s Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley released shocking findings. On September 3, 2015, Brown had gone to the police to file a complaint and seek help. More specifically, she had asked to make an application for a domestic violence protection order. The Daily Mail reported that her request had been denied as one officer told an internal investigation that it is “commonplace for women to make false allegations to further their position in Family Court matters”. Brown’s solicitor had reportedly called the Southport Police Station in advance, requesting a private room where the woman could share her fears over her partner, Lionel Patea. According to Bentley, this request was denied by the police and they refused to take a statement from Brown when she arrived.
Brown had desperately tried to get help as she showed the constable threats Patea sent her.
The woman shared that she had received “hundreds of messages in the space of hours” from her partner. One such message read: “U COLD HEARTED DOG U CAN GET F****D … IM LOOSING IT TARA SERISLLY IM A SINGLE DAD IF U WANNA DITCH US IM GUNNA MAKE U FEEL LIKE U WISIH U NEVER HAD UR DAUGHTER.” In her findings, Bentley wrote that “The constable spoke to his shift supervisor, a sergeant, and both concluded that they had no evidence to confirm that domestic and family violence had occurred.” In addition to this, Brown believed that she was being watched by Patea’s family as she had seen a relative of his outside the police station. Alongside the text messages, she shared that Patea had also pinned her down on the bed and threatened her with a pair of scissors.
Ms Brown reported that Mr Patea held scissors to her throat and threatened her, but the constable’s recollection and reporting of events differed dramatically from that of the solicitor and Ms Brown’s mother, who were also present. He recorded that scissors fell out of Mr Patea’s pocket after he pushed her onto the bed and that it was not a violent push. Ms Brown was reluctant to sign a statement about the events.
Five days after her visit to the police station, Brown was brutally murdered.
Before her death, the woman had reportedly hidden at a safe house and friends’ homes. On September 8, 2015, she had dropped off her 3-year-old daughter Aria at daycare. On this day, she was murdered. The Daily Mail wrote that her partner had “chased down her hatchback with a four-wheel-drive” before ramming the back of her car and forcing her down an embankment. This led to her vehicle overturning, trapping Brown inside her car. Patea had then taken a 7.8kg metal slab which he had used to bash Brown’s head. Although the woman had called emergency operators, there was nothing they could do. Brown cried for help while “a dozen “thumping” sounds were recorded over the phone”. She died instantly from non-survivable brain injuries.
In 2017, Lionel Patea confessed and pleaded guilty to the murder of Tara Brown.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.