Tiah's mother upset with Thorburn sentence

Ed Jackson
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Joshua Thorburn, foster brother of slain schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer, has been jailed.

The devastated mother of slain Brisbane schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer intends to push for an appeal against a jail sentence handed to her daughter's foster brother.

Josh Thorburn, 21, was sentenced in the Beenleigh District Court on Thursday to 15 months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He'll serve three months before the sentence is suspended for three years.

Thorburn admitted lying to police and the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) as they investigated 12-year-old Tialeigh's murder.

Police believe Thorburn's father Richard murdered Tiahleigh in October 2015 when it was revealed Thorburn's younger brother Trent had allegedly had sex with the schoolgirl.

The court heard Thorburn had been called to a family meeting about Tiahleigh where it was decided the family would lie about her disappearance.

Tiahleigh's body was discovered on a Gold Coast riverbank almost a week after she disappeared.

Tiahleigh's mother Cindy was part of a packed gallery that included detectives and members of Thorburn's family.

She said the sentence was a disappointing outcome.

"The justice system has let us down horribly today," Ms Palmer said outside court.

"Most of all they've let down Tiahleigh and her fight for justice."

Thorburn's defence barrister Jeff Hunter QC told the court his client lied out of fear.

"Whilst it's true Richard did not threaten my client, he was nonetheless well and truly afraid of him," Mr Hunter said.

"He wishes he did the right thing immediately and felt dreadful about giving a false account."

Judge Colin Chowdhury said it was clear Thorburn had an "acute fear" of his father but that did not excuse his actions.

"As a result of an agreement with your parents and brother you tried to conceal a horrific crime," Judge Chowdhury said.

"A significant police investigation was substantially obstructed ... you had time to think about your actions, despite the pressure of your parents at the time, and you chose to deliberately lie."

Thorburn's father Richard has been charged with murder while his brother Trent is facing charges of incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Thorburn's mother Julene is also facing charges of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.