Tiahleigh's foster brother sentenced

·1-min read

The foster brother of murdered schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer has returned to court, pleading guilty to stealing camping equipment.

Trent Thorburn, 24, was one of seven who allegedly stole outdoor equipment from the business in the Brisbane suburb of Parkinson on June 25.

Initial burglary-related offences were downgraded to trespass offences and stealing offences.

Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Wednesday was told Thorburn helped steal three tents from the business, keeping one for himself.

Legal aid lawyer Tom Schafer said the tents were damaged and not able to be sold to customers.

Thorburn surrendered to police and returned the goods before paying restitution.

Magistrate Ron Kilner said it was an "opportunistic offence" and Thorburn was clearly not the instigator.

He placed Thorburn on a $1000 good behaviour bond and did not record a conviction.

Thorburn's mother Julene, who has previously worn wigs to hide her identity, applied for permission to be in court to support her son as he pleaded guilty.

COVID-19 social distancing requirements have restricted public access to court matters heard in Beenleigh.

The plea comes after Thorburn was called to give evidence at an inquest into Tiahleigh's death earlier this year.

Fishermen found Tiahleigh's mostly naked and partially submerged body on the banks of the Pimpama River on November 5, 2015.

Thorburn was convicted of four charges, including incest after having sex with his 12-year-old foster sister.

His father, Rick Thorburn, then killed Tiahleigh fearing she had fallen pregnant.

Rick Thorburn and wife Julene feared the pregnancy scare could mean Trent would be charged over the relationship.

A coroner found Rick Thorburn choked or asphyxiated Tiahleigh to hide his son's crime.

Trent Thorburn Thorburn refused to comment to media outside court on Wednesday.

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