BIG READ: Shandee Blackburn's final walk home

AS A YOUNG woman confidently walks down a dimly lit street just after midnight, her journey home is captured on multiple CCTV cameras.

She knows the walk from Harrup Park Country Club to her home on Boddington St takes her roughly 15 to 16 minutes, and she's done it many times before.

She is wearing her work uniform and carrying a white handbag.

But for Shandee Blackburn these grainy shots taken at 12.12am on February 9, 2013 will be the last time she is seen alive.

Minutes later she is ferociously stabbed up to 25 times and left to die in the gutter.

Security footage of Shandee Blackburn leaving Harrup Park Country Club with her handbag.
Security footage of Shandee Blackburn leaving Harrup Park Country Club with her handbag.

The police theory behind what happened is told through a compilation of CCTV footage, which was played this week during the coronial inquest into Shandee's death - and it paints a chilling picture.

Police allege her killer was driving and saw the 23 year old walking along Juliet St towards Boddington St, where she lives with her mother Vicki Blackburn and step-father Paul Beardmore.

The vehicle takes a series of turns onto 18th Lane, 12th Lane, Shakespeare St and Sydney St. It comes to a stop near Struthers before police say her killer gets out and waits in some bushes on the other side of the road.

Shandee walks by - she is captured on a CCTV camera fixed to a home on Juliet St.

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Just three minutes before she is seen on the camera, Detective Sergeant Chad Davis highlighted to Mackay Coroners Court a movement in the bushes.

Minutes after she vanishes from the camera's range of vision, a dark figure is seen running across the road, about 12.14am, in a similar direction.

By now police say Shandee has most likely reached Boddington St passing by a large tree that used to grow in the Railway Park area.

It's dark, there is minimal lighting and no CCTV cameras.

And it is in this spot, the inquest heard, Shandee's unknown attacker ruthlessly stabs her to death before a figure is seen running back in the same direction from where it came - it takes about 40 seconds.

The vehicle is then captured leaving Struthers about six minutes after it went in.


Not far away at 12 James St, as emergency sirens were blaring in the background, it has been alleged that 17-year-old Levii Blackman was sitting outside his unit having a cigarette at some time after midnight.

From the darkness, William Daniel and Norman Dorante emerge. Norman is playing Snoop Dogg on his phone.

The inquest heard Levii allegedly asked what happened, indicating towards the sirens and that William told him "someone got murdered ... I did it".

Whether or not this actually occurred has been a focus point during the inquest - because Norman said he "can't recall", William denied it and Levii claimed his initial statement to police was a lie.

Taxi Driver Jaspreet Pandher leaving court during the Shandee Blackburn inquest. He is the only person who saw something the night Shandee died.
Taxi Driver Jaspreet Pandher leaving court during the Shandee Blackburn inquest. He is the only person who saw something the night Shandee died. Daryl Wright

The inquest heard there is only one witness who saw anything the night Shandee died - a taxi driver named Jaspreet Pandher - who caught the barest glimpse of two people struggling.

He gave evidence that he had been driving down Boddington St barely paying attention when, for a split second, his headlights illuminated what he believed was a man and a woman fighting over a bag as he turned onto Juliet St.

Barely a minute later, he said, he swung back around for a fare and he saw a man wearing dark clothes clutching what looks like a bag in both hands running towards Juliet St and, as he turned back onto Boddington St, a woman lying on the ground.

Mr Pandher does not stop - instead he tells his friend over the phone to call police and paramedics.

"If I knew something went wrong I might have followed him," Mr Pandher said, requesting not to hear details about Shandee's injuries.

Shandee's bag has never been recovered.

Hand bag similar to the one Shandee Blackburn was carrying the night she died. It has never been found.
Hand bag similar to the one Shandee Blackburn was carrying the night she died. It has never been found.

Forensic pathologist Professor David Williams said Shandee's injuries could have been inflicted in under a minute, describing it as a frenzied attack.

"It's quite horrific how many stab wounds there are really," he told the inquest.

A deep wound to her neck would have impaired her ability to call out. Prof Williams commented on the apparent anger behind the attack, which he said was so forceful part of Shandee's skull was damaged.

 

 

Police compared CCTV images of a vehicle of interest (left) with that of a reenactment at the same point using a Toyota Hilux seized during the investigation (middle, right) into Shandee Blackburn's death.
Police compared CCTV images of a vehicle of interest (left) with that of a reenactment at the same point using a Toyota Hilux seized during the investigation (middle, right) into Shandee Blackburn's death. Queensland Police Service

The police investigation is lengthy. After viewing hours of footage taken at various points around the city between 9pm February 8 and 1am February 9, 2013, a vehicle of interest is identified although its number plate and registration number can't be seen.

A series of side by side images are shown in the inquest compare this vehicle and the Toyota Hilux seized from Shandee's former boyfriend John Peros at the same points throughout the city.

Forensic imaging officer Sergeant Brett Schnitzerling referred to 12 similarities - including a missing mudguard in the front driver's side wheel and black strip detailing along the passenger side.

Mr Peros was initially charged with Shandee's murder, but was acquitted in 2017. He has denied having any involvement in her death.

William Daniel leaves the court at break during the inquest into Shandee Blackburn's death.
William Daniel leaves the court at break during the inquest into Shandee Blackburn's death. Caitlan Charles

Numerous witnesses told Mackay Coroners Court this week they had heard rumours circulating Mackay after Shandee's death including that William Daniel was responsible.

He has repeatedly denied any involvement and has never been charged.

"Everyone in this room knows I didn't do it," he said while giving evidence.

But defence barrister Craig Eberhardt, acting for Mr Peros, has accused William of being the real killer and told the coroner the 29 year old would be committed to stand trial for murder "any day of the week".

His theory is that Shandee was the victim of a robbery gone wrong after William, who was addicted to ice at the time, tried to snatch her bag and that Norman was there.

Mr Eberhardt argued that Levii told the truth in his first statement to police but later backtracked to help his friend.

He highlighted to the court that William lived nearby, was known to carry knives and used to "roll" drug dealers for cash to support his drug habit.

Levii Blackman leaves the Mackay Court House after giving evidence in the Shandee Blackburn inquest.
Levii Blackman leaves the Mackay Court House after giving evidence in the Shandee Blackburn inquest. Caitlan Charles

 

Levii also gave police a second confession scenario, which he maintains is the truth, where he was scrolling through Facebook while William was eating noodles and saw something about the murder. He mentioned it to William, who said "I did it".

He said this was the same day Shandee was killed but hours later and that he did not take it seriously.

He also claims police pressured him into blaming William in the first police interview and he became trapped in that lie. William denied ever saying those words.

Former boyfriend of Shandee Blackburn John Peros, who was acquitted by a jury of her murder in 2017.
Former boyfriend of Shandee Blackburn John Peros, who was acquitted by a jury of her murder in 2017. Daryl Wright

As all this is playing out in Mackay Coroners Court, Mr Peros sits quietly in the gallery listening to each testimony. So does Shandee's family.

Mr Peros' barrister Mr Eberhardt has pushed each of the 19 witnesses who have given evidence so far on many points as he paints his own picture about what happened.

In the past six and a half years, the case had gone through a Crime and Corruption Commission hearing, a committal hearing, supreme court trial and now an inquest.

Mr Peros has never given evidence in open court about Shandee's death. He is expected to be called as a witness on Monday.

Under section 16 of the Coroners Act, a coroner has the right to call on any person he or she believes can give information relevant to the investigation. And under section 17a a person is protected from criminal or civil prosecution for complying.

Shandee Blackburn inquest so far: 



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