Toowoomba teen admits to killing mother and daughter

A Toowoomba teenager has admitted to killing Melanie Perks and her daughter Ebonie.
A Toowoomba teenager has admitted to killing Melanie Perks and her daughter Ebonie. contributed

A TOOWOOMBA man initially charged with the murder of a woman and her daughter in Newtown has pleaded guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The man, who cannot be named as he was a juvenile of 16 years of age at the time, appeared before the Toowoomba Supreme Court today.

The now 19-year-old has been held in custody since Toowoomba woman Melanie Perks and her 12-year-old daughter Ebonie Perks were found dead of apparent stab wounds in their Newtown home on the morning of January 28, 2014.

The now convicted man, who turns 20 next month, was well known to the victims.

The delay in the case progressing stemmed from the fact he had been placed before the Mental Health Court which only recently returned the file to the Supreme Court with the instructions it was to proceed according to law.

No particular details of the case have as yet been aired in court.

The teenager chatted briefly with family members before the court opened and he then sat quietly in the court dock as a brief pre-sentence hearing took place.

His barrister Katarina Prskalo asked the court for an adjournment, citing her client should be sentenced as a juvenile in which case a pre-sentence report would be required before sentence could proceed.

However, Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso argued the prisoner should be sentenced as an adult.

She said a number of reports on the defendant had been prepared for his appearances before the Mental Health Court and submitted a further pre-sentence report would not be required.

Justice James Douglas said a pre-sentence report might be helpful.

Ms Prskalo said the sentencing judge would have to decide before sentence whether her client should be sentenced as a child or an adult and a pre-sentence report would explain his progress since being held in custody.

Justice Douglas said he would order that a pre-sentence report on the teenager be completed before sentence and adjourned the sentence hearing to a date expected to be later this year.

The 19-year-old was remanded in custody pending that sentence hearing.

Topics:  ebonie perks editors picks manslaughter melanie perks toowoomba court

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