Jack Beasley’s family ‘shattered’ after three youths cleared of manslaughter

The father of Gold Coast teenager Jack Beasley admits the family is heartbroken and is struggling to comprehend the “terrible decision” to acquit three teens over his death.

Jack was fatally stabbed outside a Surfers Paradise convenience store while on a night out with friends in December 2019.

One of Jack’s friends was stabbed in the back and chest.


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Ma-Mal-J Toala and two others, who can’t be named, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and two counts of grievous bodily harm.

The trio faced a judge-only trial over eight days in May with Justice Soraya Ryan on Thursday acquitting them of all charges.

Jack’s parents Brett and Belinda broke down after the verdict was read out while many of Jack’s friends were inconsolable outside court.

Brett says words can’t explain how they’re feeling.

“We’re struggling big time. It was a terrible decision and it’s played a massive part on our family. It’s just gut-wrenching. We are so heartbroken,” Brett told Nine Radio.

Justice Ryan is yet to publish the reasons behind her decision to acquit the trio.

Brett admits they were confident of a favourable outcome and have been rocked by the verdict.

“We were just shattered. We were in tears. We weren’t expecting it. We were actually expecting it to go the other way.

“We were heartbroken, mate. We were speechless and all our supporters there were just absolutely gutted. It was terrible.”

Jack’s death prompted a trial of metal-detecting wands in the Gold Coast safe night precincts in a bid to crack down on knife crime.

The family also established the Jack Beasley Foundation in a bid to drive change and educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

But Brett says today’s verdict is a setback for that work.

“This was our opportunity to create change. This is what we’re hoping to do and set a precedence and a example of these young kids today. So what’s the outcome shown here? These kids can just literally get away with murder.

“It’s absolutely disgusting that, they’re kids, but they know what they’re doing. They absolutely know what they’re doing. It’s crazy.”

A fourth teen had already pleaded guilty to Jack’s murder while another had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Both will be sentenced at a later date.