Shaune Gibson pictured on his 16th birthday.
Shaune Gibson pictured on his 16th birthday. Contributed

Woman's drunken rant led to murder charges

A COURT has heard if it was not for a woman's drunken ramblings at a party, her involvement in the 2012 murder of Ipswich teen Shaune Gibson may have gone undetected.

Valerie Jeanette Chambers, 45, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in the Brisbane Supreme Court to the murder of Mr Gibson, 19, at Eastern Heights.

Before the trial, Chambers, also known as Valerie Jeanette Mullins, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the plea and continued pursuing the murder charge.

The court heard Chambers is one of three people charged over the murder, including a 16-year-old girl who was previously in a relationship with Mr Gibson.

Warrick David Lindenberg, 29, pleaded guilty to Mr Gibson's murder earlier this month and is due to be sentenced following the outcome of this trial.

Lindenberg was in a relationship with Chambers's daughter at the time of Mr Gibson's murder.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller told the court Mr Gibson was last seen alive on August 9, 2012. His body was found in a shallow grave off Balaam Hill Rd at Churchable several weeks later.

"Valerie Chambers used (the 16-year-old) to lure Mr Gibson to (a) home in Cooinda St," he said.

"It was there Mr Gibson was set upon, tied up and savagely beaten to death.

"It was an extremely violent death."

Mr Fuller said the break in the case came after friends of Chambers became concerned at her drunken ramblings at her birthday party three weeks later.

He said the two friends were so concerned at what Chambers had said they consulted a priest and barrister before telling police two days later.

"The investigation started as a missing person but quickly turned into a homicide investigation," he said.

"Police soon put the Cooinda St address under surveillance after they realised Mr Gibson's weekly pension was being withdrawn from ATMs in Ipswich.

"Listening devices were placed inside the address where unguarded conversations about Shaune Gibson's murder were recorded."

The trial will hear evidence from another man, 28, who was in a relationship with Chambers at the time of Mr Gibson's murder and provided police with crucial information leading to the arrests.

He was sentenced last year for his involvement but a non-publication order prevents him from being named or what punishment he received.

The trial before Justice David Boddice is expected to last a week. - APN NEWSDESK.


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