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Toolbox murders: three men jailed for life for 'sadistic' killing in Queensland


Three men convicted of the “sadistic” murders of two drug dealers whose bodies were locked in a toolbox and submerged in a Queensland lagoon have been sentenced to life in prison.

A fourth man found guilty of manslaughter will serve 12 years behind bars.

The final sentencing for the crime dubbed the “toolbox murders” was delivered in a packed supreme court in Brisbane on Monday.




Iuliana Triscaru

Iuliana Triscaru Photograph: AAP



Cory Breton.

Cory Breton. Photograph: AAP

Stou Daniels, Davy Malu Junior Taiao, Trent Michael Thrupp and Waylon Ngaketo Cowan Walker denied murdering Cory Breton, 28, and Iuliana Triscaru, 31, south of Brisbane on 24 January 2016.

Daniels, Taiao and Thrupp were found guilty of two counts of murder. Walker was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

Crown prosecutor David Meredith said all of the people involved were dealers and users of drugs and the “breathtakingly evil killings” were sparked by a photograph of a smiling Daniels captured on CCTV.

The owner of a convenience store who sold burner phones and purchased drugs from Breton asked him where he sourced his drugs and was told “Islanders”.

The owner then sent Daniels’ CCTV image to Breton, asking if “that was him”. Breton replied: “Yes, that’s him”.

Daniels became wary when told about the photo and was convinced he was being set up.

“He [Daniels] was clearly the ringleader, and it was his paranoia that drove this whole thing,” Meredith said in sentencing submissions on Monday. “It was he that was giving the orders. He leads the interrogation and torture of both Breton and Triscaru.”

Daniels ordered people to buy cleaning products and stayed in direct contact during every step of the murders.

“He manipulates everyone to do his bidding, and, by his actions, he ensures everyone is implicated,” the prosecutor said.

The victims were lured to a Kingston unit, tortured, assaulted and bound with tape and zip ties before being put in the toolbox, Meredith told the jury in his opening.

At one point, Triscaru escaped before being recaptured and forced back inside the toolbox. The box was put on to the back of a ute and dumped in the Scrubby Creek Lagoon south of Brisbane.

More than two weeks later, on 11 February, police divers found the bodies in the box – weighed down by concrete blocks and tyres.

The bodies were so badly decomposed doctors could not determine a cause of death, only that the pair could have died from asphyxiation or drowning.

“The real horror is that both victims, Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru, were confined in the toolbox for at least four hours, when they must have known they were going to die,” Meredith said. “That is compounded by the fact that they were loaded on to the back of a HiLux in their impending doom.”

The victims were heard yelling and kicking at the toolbox when they left the apartment complex.

Family members told the court of their “unending sorrow and grief” at the loss of both victims.

Triscaru’s mother, Victoria Duga, said her life ended with her daughter’s death and Breton’s young daughter still wakes from nightmares crying out for her father, the court heard.

Justice David Boddice described the murders as “despicable crimes” – senseless and sadistic.

“Those individuals endured hours of mental and physical suffering, including being locked together in the darkened space of a metal toolbox,” he said.

“Disgracefully, in their final hours, you deprived them of being able to look at each other. Instead, they were placed in that toolbox so that each had to look at the other’s feet.

“As a final indignity, cleaning cloths and rubbish were put into plastic bags and placed in the toolbox with them – as if they were in a garbage bin. Each victim died in a cold, watery grave.”

He said the “dreadful” acts of psychological torture were “unspeakable evil of the worst kind”, showing a complete lack of humanity.

Daniels, Thrupp, and Taiao must serve at least 30 years, while there was no parole date for Walker.



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