THE Gold Coast is no stranger to harrowing and preventable domestic violence deaths.

Sadly, Christmas is often the worst time of the year for victims of partner and family violence.

Significant rises in violent incidents are recorded during the festive season holiday period when compared to the rest of the year, statistics show.

Here's some of the most horrendous domestic violence cases covered by the Bulletin.




Lionel Patea. Photo: Facebook
Lionel Patea. Photo: Facebook


Double murderer Lionel Patea bludgeoned Gold Coast woman Tara Brown to death with a fire hydrant cover after running her off the road in a terrible act of domestic violence on September 8, 2015. He was sentenced to life in jail.

Triple-0 operators were forced to listen on as Ms Brown was beaten to death in Molendinar while she was trapped in the wreckage of her mangled car.

Before her death, Ms Brown was screaming for help as she was chased and rammed by a black Jeep being driven by Patea.

Tara Brown.
Tara Brown.

Bikie Patea pleaded guilty to the murder of Ms Brown, 24, and later admitted to being part of a group which beat pool builder Greg Duffy to death in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Patea earned about $250,000 a year working as a standover man and collector for the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang before he was locked up.

He was known for his "propensity for violence" after joining the bikie gang in his late teens.

When he was being sentenced for the brutal murder, Patea, who converted to Islam, asked to be "ultimately judged by God".

Patea will not be released from prison before May 29, 2048.

David Bradford.
David Bradford.


Estranged husband and father-of-four David Bradford stabbed his wife Teresa Bradford to death before killing himself in a shocking murder-suicide at Pimpama on January 31, 2017.

It's believed he broke into the family home while Mrs Bradford was sleeping.

The children were home at the time and ran to neighbours to raise the alarm.

The former train driver had been released on bail just a fortnight beforehand and Mrs Bradford was not told he had been freed.

David Bradford and Teresa Bradford. Picture Facebook/ABC
David Bradford and Teresa Bradford. Picture Facebook/ABC

It was alleged he had choked Ms Bradford, gaffer-taped her mouth shut and beat her until she lost control of her bowel movements and lost consciousness.

Police warned Mr Bradford posed an unreasonable risk of harming others, but he was granted bail regardless of officers' concerns.

Mrs Bradford spoke out in the weeks leading up to her death, fearing her estranged husband would try to kill her.

Larissa Beilby and Zlatko Sikorsky.
Larissa Beilby and Zlatko Sikorsky.


Accused teen killer Zlatko Sikorsky died in prison last month while awaiting trial over the murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend Larissa Beilby.

Larissa's battered body was found in a barrel at Stapylton in June, 2018.

Sikorsky was committed to trial in Brisbane Supreme Court on charges including murder, torture, deprivation of liberty and interfering with a corpse.

Larissa had been reported missing by her father a day before she was found dead inside the barrel found in a ute dumped south of Brisbane.

Zlatko Sikorsky. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Zlatko Sikorsky. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Beenleigh Magistrates Court was told during a committal hearing prior to Sikorsky's death behind bars that a woman gave Larissa methamphetamine (ice) before her death to protect her from Sikorsky.

The woman said Larissa "needed to stay awake so she could still be alive" and the teen was "purple from head to toe".

The woman told the court she was "petrified" of Sikorsky, claiming he had abducted and threatened to kill her on more than one occasion.

Sikorsky surrendered to Queensland Police after a siege at unit complex at Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast.

Bronson Ellery and Shelsea Schilling.
Bronson Ellery and Shelsea Schilling.


Former bikie enforcer Bronson "Lizard man" Ellery launched a sickening attack on his ex-partner Shelsea Schilling and suffocated her before he took his own life inside a Southport unit.

Ellery bashed Ms Schilling's head against tiles and then smothered her with a pillow on November 18, 2016

Sources close to the police investigation told the Bulletin someone helped Ellery consume a dose of drugs which would ultimately result in his death.

Shelsea Schilling and Bronson Ellery.
Shelsea Schilling and Bronson Ellery.

A note addressed to Ms Schilling's mother, father and sister was found in Ms Schilling's hand bag: "I'm sorry for taking your daughter's life, she loves you very much".

The Bulletin was told Ellery made it clear to several witnesses before the killing "no one was going to get out of there alive".

Police said it was believed several other people were at the property the night Ms Schilling was murdered and Ellery ended his life.

Melinda Horner and David Lee. Picture: Tim Marsden
Melinda Horner and David Lee. Picture: Tim Marsden


Burleigh Waters couple Melinda Horner and David Lee were found dead at the couple's home on November 2, 2015.

The scene was staged as a double suicide, but police later confirmed Ms Horner had been murdered by Lee.

Lee was found inside the house, while Ms Horner's body was found dead inside a car.

The couple had a volatile relationship and Ms Horner had previously taken out a domestic violence order against Lee.

Friends told the Bulletin the couple had a fight involving choking and threats of self-harm two weeks before they were found dead.

Steven Lock.
Steven Lock.


Mother Karina Lock was gunned down by her murderous ex Steven Lock in a public execution at Helensvale McDonald's, before he turned the gun on himself.

Witnesses saw Mrs Lock and her former partner sitting in a light blue sedan on the morning of September 10, 2015. The pair had agreed to meet on the day.

Karina Lock. Photo supplied
Karina Lock. Photo supplied

Mrs Lock had moved from Maryborough, away from her ex, attempting to make a fresh start with her teenage daughter.

About thirty people in the fast food restaurant watched as Steven Lock pulled Mrs Lock into a headlock and shot her in the head.

He then knelt next to her and shot himself in the head.

Brock Wall. Picture: Rebecca Davis
Brock Wall. Picture: Rebecca Davis


An obsessively jealous Brock Wall bludgeoned his partner and the mother of his unborn child Fabiana Palhares to death with a tomahawk at her Varsity Lakes home on February 2, 2015.

He was sentenced to two life sentences in prison. w

The callous attack came after he breached domestic violence orders, snuck into Ms Palhares' phone to read her text messages and watched her sleep.

Fabiana Palhares. Picture: Facebook
Fabiana Palhares. Picture: Facebook

Ms Palhares, who was 11-weeks pregnant hoped Wall would have a relationship with their child, but had urged him to get psychological help.

On the day of Ms Palhares' murder, Wall entered her bedroom and phone triple-zero before he attacked her.

Wall tried to take his own life behind bars, but he expressed no remorse or sorrow in a letter written after the despicable murder.


John Chardon. Picture: Darren England
John Chardon. Picture: Darren England


Millionaire businessman John Chardon was convicted of manslaughter last year after his wife Novy Chardon disappeared in 2013.

Chardon died after a heart attack in prison in October at age 73.

Novy vanished in 2013 during divorce proceedings and her body has never been found.

Police issued a missing-person report in 2013 and Chardon something of a focus for the media.

Officers began to look into Chardons' affairs and in August 2014 he was sentenced to six years jail for raping and molesting a teenage girl, while continuing to claim he was innocent.

While interacting with the teenager, Chardon travelled to Indonesia and met Novy.

Novy Chardon.
Novy Chardon.

Police eventually arrested Chardon after taking 200 statements and 1000 lines of inquiry.

Her was charged with murdering his missing wife, but a jury ultimately found he was not guilty to murder but guilty of manslaughter


Do you need help? Phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) or Mensline Australia (1300 789 978).

Phone triple-0 (000) if anyone is serious injured or in immediate danger.

To report other domestic violence related matters phone Policelink on 131 444.

Originally published as Faces behind Gold Coast's horrific domestic violence killings