Man charged with Gold Coast mum’s murder to remain in custody

The man charged with the murder of mother-of-three, Kelly Wilkinson, has had his charges mentioned in Southport Court as he remains under police guard in hospital.

Brian Earl Johnston has been charged with murder and breaching a domestic violence order after the burned body of Ms Wilkinson was found in the back yard of her Arundel home on Tuesday morning.

Ms Wilkinson’s burned body was found in the back yard of her Arundel home on Tuesday morning.


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Mr Johnston was also allegedly found in a “semi-conscious” state nearby with burns to his hands and possibly his airway.

The 34-year-old was taken to the burns unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he remains under police guard.

His case was only briefly mentioned in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday in his absence.

Johnston cannot apply for bail and was formally remanded in custody until June 4.

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Minister for Justice, Women, and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman, paid tribute to Ms Wilkinson during a sitting of Queensland Parliament on Wednesday morning.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Kelly Wilkinson and, in particular, her three young children,” Minister Fentiman told parliament.

“Enough is enough.”

Ms Fentiman announced an extra $2.5 million dollars will be distributed through COVID grants for 23 domestic and family violence projects.

“These projects will be delivered from the Torres Strait to the Gold Coast and will deliver innovative responses to the impacts of COVID across sexual violence and domestic and family violence.”

Ms Fentiman said the COVID crisis had escalated the domestic and family violence problem across the country, including here in Queensland.

“During the pandemic, almost one in 10 women in a relationship in this country experienced domestic and family violence, with two thirds saying the violence started or escalated during lockdowns,” she said.