Tiahleigh Palmer’s mother to seek longer jail sentence for foster brother

The mother of Tiahleigh Palmer is expected to write to Queensland’s attorney- general seeking an appeal of the jail sentence handed to the slain schoolgirl’s foster brother.

Josh Thorburn, was sentenced to 15 months jail yesterday after pleading guilty to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice charges at Beenleigh District Court.

The 21-year-old’s sentence will be suspended after three months for three years.


Tiahleigh’s mother Cindy Palmer was devastated with the outcome.

“The justice system has let us down horribly,” Ms Palmer said outside court.

“Most of all they’ve let down Tiahleigh and her fight for justice.”

The court heard Thorburn had been left “frightened and bewildered” after a meeting with his family regarding Tiahleigh on the night police allege she was murdered.

The body of the 12-year-old was discovered on the banks of a Gold Coast river about a week later.

Thorburn lied about seeing Tiahleigh the morning after her alleged murder twice during police interviews, before repeatedly lying to a Crime and Corruption Commission hearing last year.

Judge Colin Chowdhury said while Thorburn had an “acute fear” of his father and was being pressured by his parents to tell lies, his actions disrupted police attempts to discover “the real killer of Tiahleigh”.

“The peace and welfare of our society depends on citizens young and old standing up for what’s right,” Judge Chowdhury said, adding the family’s collusion to lie about Tiahleigh’s disappearance was an attempt to conceal a “horrific crime”.

Thorburn’s father Richard has been charged with Tiahleigh’s murder while his younger brother Trent is facing charges of incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Thorburn’s mother Julene was due to be sentenced on charges of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice on Thursday but her matter has been adjourned after she recently changed lawyers.