National

Woman jailed over Qld toolbox murders

By AAP Newswire

A mother of seven who helped to clean a Brisbane unit where a couple were tortured before being forced into a metal toolbox and dumped in a creek has been jailed for manslaughter.

Ngatokoona Mareiti, 40, didn't have a hand in the murder of Cory Breton, 28, and Iuliana Triscaru, 31, at a lagoon on Scrubby Creek in Kingston in January 24, 2016.

Seven others are awaiting trial for that charge after the two bodies were found so badly decomposed investigators were unable to determine if they died from drowning or suffocation, the Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Tuesday.

But she heard them screaming from inside the toolbox at a home she visited to buy drugs before it was thrown into the water, prosecutor David Meredith said.

Mareiti also purchased cleaning products under the direction of one of her co-accused and helped clean the unit where the couple had been detained.

Later, she helped dump the dead man's car, then lied to the dead woman's family in the days after the murder, telling them not to worry.

The court heard Mareiti first spotted the pair sitting on a couch with their hands tied behind their back in the hours before they died but did nothing about it.

"They'd obviously been assaulted and interrogated by other accused. She would have noticed Breton was bleeding from the mouth," Mr Meredith said.

Police initially charged Mareiti with double murder but she pleaded guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which the Crown accepted.

She was jailed for nine years but with time served will be eligible for parole in June next year.

In sentencing, Justice David Boddice said the victims died horrible deaths and that Mareiti assisted her co-accused when she "knew that the unlawful killing was a probable consequence".

But he accepted she was not involved in their initial detention, physical assault and "the dreadful way they were dealt with which led to their deaths."

"Your involvement was, however, significant ... It was apparent from the fact they were tied up right from the start that this was a dreadful event," he said.

"You did nothing about contacting the authorities. You did nothing about attempting to encourage the others to desist in their conduct.

"By your dreadful and, what I consider, despicable deeds, you allowed events to unfold that caused the deaths of these two people."

The court heard Mareiti was friends with Ms Triscaru and their children played together.

A victim impact statement from Ms Triscaru's mother called Mareiti a coward, evil and a liar who had destroyed her family.

"You left her there to be tortured and to be killed ... (you have) turned my life into a forever nightmare," it said.

"If you had called the police perhaps she would have been alive today."

Justice Boddice, addressing Mareiti as tears welled in her eyes, said: "The decisions you made showed a complete lack of human decency."

Mareiti, a New Zealand citizen, is likely to be deported upon release.