POLICE have alleged Chambers Flat man Trent Thorburn had sex with 12-year-old Tiahleigh Palmer on the Monday before the schoolgirl was murdered because she threatened to kill his dog.
Mr Thorburn, 19, was denied bail on charges in relation to the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The teenager faced one charge of incest, one charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice and two counts of perjury.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Courier Mail reported that police were alleging Tiahleigh was killed by her foster father Rick Thorburn to protect his son Trent, who was sexually involved with the 12-year-old schoolgirl.
During a tense hearing in Court 3 that lasted about one hour, Magistrate Pamela Dowse said she denied bail because she was unsatisfied Trent Thorburn would not face imprisonment over the charges.
Trent Thorburn wore a brown shirt, brown shorts and had his blonde hair combed backwards as he was led into the courtroom by three uniformed police officers.
The 19-year-old showed no emotion during the hearing as police prosecutor Ellen French detailed the charges against him.
Police said Mr Thorburn engaged in sexual activity with Tiahleigh several times in the weeks leading up to her death.
Sergeant French said police had viewed Facebook messages where Mr Thorburn had expressed concerns that Tiahleigh may have been pregnant.
The prosecution offered no further details on the allegation surrounding the incident with the dog.
It is alleged the schoolgirl revealed the sexual activity to a friend and her foster mother, while Mr Thorburn admitted his actions to a cousin and a friend of Tiahleigh.
The prosecution alleged Thorburn was asked on five separate occasions by police if he was involved in her death or had sexual relations with her but denied it each time.
An emotional Cindy Palmer, Tiahleigh’s biological mother, watched on as the police prosecutor alleged Mr Thorburn “abused his position as big brother”.
“The consequences are her young life has been taken,” Sergeant French said.
Tiahleigh was declared missing on October 30 last year after her foster father Rick Thorburn, 56, allegedly dropped her off at Marsden State High School.
The 12-year-old’s decomposing body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River one week later.
Mr Thorburn is charged with Tiahleigh’s murder and his wife Julene, 54, and son Joshua, 20, have also been charged in relation to the murder investigation.
In opposing bail for Trent Thorburn, Sergeant French said the teenager posed a risk to the investigation and could potentially interfere with witnesses.
She said the 19-year-old had repeatedly lied to police and had colluded with family members to avoid prosecution.
Arguing for bail, Mr Thorburn’s lawyer John Ide said the teenager was only 18 at the time of the offence, had no criminal history and would stay with relatives if bailed.
Mr Ide also said the time Mr Thorburn could remain in custody while awaiting trial may potentially exceed any prison sentence.
But Magistrate Dowse agreed with the prosecution and said it would not be suitable for Mr Thorburn to be bailed given the seriousness of the charges.
Relatives and friends of Tiahleigh’s family reacted with relief following the verdict and hugged each other as they left the courtoom.
Ms Palmer said she ‘felt relieved’ outside Beenleigh Magistrates Court, but refused to comment further.
Mr Thorburn was remanded in custody and will face court again later this year.
More to come...