Mum’s tears as son’s killers jailed again

Redcliffe victim Angus Beaumont died following a stabbing at Redcliffe in March 2020. Picture Supplied
Redcliffe victim Angus Beaumont died following a stabbing at Redcliffe in March 2020. Picture Supplied

A mother who’s teenage son was killed during a knife fight has claimed “bodies will keep piling up” unless legislation changes moments after the two teenagers responsible for his death were sentenced for a second time.

Two teenagers were sentenced in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday over the killing of 15-year-old Angus Beaumont, with one convicted of murder and the other of manslaughter.

The boys were just 14 when they fatally stabbed Angus during a fight at Redcliffe in Queensland in March 2020.

The now 18-year-old who stabbed Angus in the heart was found guilty of murder in December.

His co-offender, also now aged 18, who also swung a knife at Angus during the altercation but missed, was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The two boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had previously been found guilty of murder at an earlier jury trial in 2022.

Angus Beaumont was 15 years old when he was fatally stabbed in Redcliffe in 2020. Picture Supplied
Angus Beaumont was 15 years old when he was fatally stabbed in Redcliffe in 2020. Picture Supplied

But the Court of Appeal set aside their convictions and ordered a retrial in July last year after finding the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury about allegations the pair had slapped hands after Angus was stabbed had caused a miscarriage of justice.

On Friday, Justice Sean Cooper sentenced the 18-year-old boy guilty of murder to nine years in jail.

Under the Youth Justice Act, a child must serve 70 per cent of their sentence in jail before being released unless a court ordered a lesser period.

Justice Cooper accepted the 18-year-old boy who murdered Angus should be eligible to be released after serving 60 per cent of his nine year sentence.

He said several factors, including his age at the time of Angus’ death and his own “fractured childhood”, were reasons he fell within special circumstances for earlier release.

The court was told the teenager had a history of drug use and carrying knives.

Born in New Zealand, the court was told he might be deported after his sentence was served.

Justice Cooper sentenced the second 18-year-old to five years and six months for manslaughter.

The court was told the teenager, who was on probation and unlawfully at large when he killed Angus, went on to commit further offences while on bail after he was initially charged with murder.

In May 2022, shortly before his first trial began, he had driven a stolen car “erratically” up the M1.

Angus Beaumont had been in the park with a friend when he was attacked.
Angus Beaumont had been in the park with a friend when he was attacked.

“We know on the last day he was in the community he was out stealing cars and driving erratically. He performed poorly on bail, he has a shocking criminal history, he hasn’t performed well in custody … community protection must be paramount today,” Crown Prosecutor Chris Cook said.

“There’s significant violence in his criminal history, including prior offences involving weapons.

“He … approached a 32-year-old woman pushing a baby in a pram, made demands and threatened to kill the baby.”

Justice Cooper ordered the second boy to serve 50 per cent of his sentence before being released, which could be as early as Friday.

Justice Cooper said both boys had felt they’d been “ripped off” by Angus’ friend who had sold one of them cannabis before Angus was killed.

The court was told the pair had been angered after they believed the cannabis they’d bought was less than what they’d paid for.

Both armed with knives, they chased Angus’ friend, demanding he reimburse them.

The court was told when the friend reached Angus in a nearby carpark, he handed him a knife which Angus kept by his side as he took three steps towards the two boys and told them to “f —k off”.

Justice Cooper said he had found Angus had said this in an effort to get the two boys to “leave him and his friends alone”.

The court heard the two boys paused briefly and took a step back before they then moved towards Angus.

One swung a knife at Angus and missed.

Justice Cooper said while Angus had his attention on the first teen, he didn’t see the second teen swing his arm, striking him in the chest with the knife and “fell to the ground almost immediately”.

Justice Cooper said he’d found both boys had been the “aggressors” during the incident.

Michelle Liddle, the mother of 15-year-old Angus Beaumont, was distraught in court during the sentencing of her son’s killers. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard

Outside of court on Friday, Angus’ mother Michelle Liddle said she was extremely disappointed about how her family had to relive the trauma of going through the courts again.

She said the Youth Justice Act failed victims and their families.

“After being in there for the second time, a second trial and I’ve lost count how many times we’ve actually been in court, the one sticking point is the legislation in the Youth Justice Act,” Ms Liddle said.

“The judge can only give what he can give under the laws in place now.

“The Youth Justice Act is actually preventing justice from being done.

“The talk about the trauma of these boys, well we’re traumatised. My family is traumatised.

“(The Act) is stacked against victims.

“How could we have a system that supports killers, supports offenders while traumatising and re-traumatising the victims family.

“The legislation needs to change, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t protect us. It just sees the bodies piling up.”

Ms Liddle said her family were now living their own “life sentence” every day since her son’s death.

“He never knew there were people out there who could do something like that,” she said.

“He had a future. He was out of depth. I wished he’d come home. He wanted to do something with his life.”