A family’s call to permanently honour a grandmother who was murdered in her home has finally been granted.
A family’s call to permanently honour a grandmother who was murdered in her home has finally been granted.

Murdered grandmother forever honoured in special tribute

A family's call to permanently honour a Deeragun grandmother who was murdered in her home has finally been granted, with her name set to be forever etched in the park she loved.

Townsville City Council this morning revealed it would dedicate a park bench and plaque in Deeragun's Innes Park to honour the life of Rosemary Russo.

Ms Russo was murdered in her home, which is adjacent to the park, in 2016 when a man bludgeoned her to death with a piece of wood, causing her to drown in her own blood.

James Ray Samuel Mabo, 22, was found guilty of murder last year after a compelling trial in Townsville Supreme Court.

Mabo confided in an undercover police officer that he never meant to kill Ms Russo as he tried to steal from her home.

The grandmother's death sent shockwaves through the community, and her family called for her life to be permanently honoured in a tribute at her favourite park in 2017.

Family of the late Rosemary Russo asked council to name her local park in her memory. Danielle Caufield and John 'Macca' McDonald in 2019.
Family of the late Rosemary Russo asked council to name her local park in her memory. Danielle Caufield and John 'Macca' McDonald in 2019.

Rosemary's son Lourence Russo said the park was an extension to his mother's home.

"The park in itself mum loved … a place she felt safe where she encouraged happy and joyous moments for the kids she had in her care," he told the Townsville Bulletin last year.

"It would be a fitting tribute to her and her life's work, while there are such bad elements in our community we can see the good in people."

The family initially called for the entire park to be renamed, but Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino said feedback from public consultation disagreed as the park was already named after a former resident.

Lourence Russo, son of murder victim Rosemary Russo, outside the Townsville Court House when his mother’s killer was sentenced. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Lourence Russo, son of murder victim Rosemary Russo, outside the Townsville Court House when his mother’s killer was sentenced. Picture: Alix Sweeney

The council chose to dedicate a park bench to Ms Russo instead.

"Ms Russo ran a children's daycare service at her home and often visited Innes Park with the children," Mr Molachino said.

"I hope that families will continue to take their children to Innes Park and to take a moment to remember Ms Russo when they see this new park seat dedicated to her memory."

The park seat and plaque will be installed in the next few months in consultation with Ms Russo's family.

Originally published as Murdered grandmother forever honoured in special tribute



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