Annette Mason was found bloodied and brutally beaten to death at only 15-years-old. Picture: Supplied.
Annette Mason was found bloodied and brutally beaten to death at only 15-years-old. Picture: Supplied.

Investigation into teen girl's death reopened after 29 years

ANNETTE Mason was just 15 years old when she was bludgeoned to death in her family's Queensland home in November 1989.

She suffered massive head injuries after she was bashed across the face, possibly with a piece of wood.

But despite police investigations and a coronial inquiry, no one has ever been charged with her murder.

Toowoomba teen Annette Jane Mason was found murdered in her home on November 19, 1989. Picture: Contributed
Toowoomba teen Annette Jane Mason was found murdered in her home on November 19, 1989. Picture: Contributed

On Monday, 29 years after Annette's body was found in the front bedroom of her Toowoomba house, the inquest into her death will be reopened. Coroner Terry Ryan will examine when, where and how she died. He'll also try to determine if anyone should be charged with Annette's murder or manslaughter.

Shine Lawyers solicitor Leanne McDonald grew up in Toowoomba and is representing the family for free during the inquest.

Ms McDonald said Annette's murder had a big impact on the local community. "Toowoomba was tarnished and the murderer was out there walking the streets," she said in a statement.

"What hurts the most for the Mason family is that 29 years later that person who robbed Annette of her life is still free. Justice hasn't been served." Ms McDonald said they were determined to ensure someone was charged this time around.

Annette’s sister, Linda Mason outside the Brisbane Magistrates court for the start of sister Annette Mason's reopened inquest in 2017. Picture: John Gass / AAP Images.
Annette’s sister, Linda Mason outside the Brisbane Magistrates court for the start of sister Annette Mason's reopened inquest in 2017. Picture: John Gass / AAP Images.

"Annette was last seen at 3.30am catching a taxi after a night out with friends," she said.

"We are confident that there are people out there who know more and the Mason family deserves to hear that truth." Twenty-five witnesses gave evidence during the initial inquest but the coroner of the time found there was insufficient evidence to establish the identity of Annette's killer.

It was closed subject to "reopening at any stage should further evidence become available".

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath instructed the coroner to reopen the inquest in 2016.

Ms D'Ath said it was "in the interests of justice" the circumstances surrounding Annette's death be re-examined.

"I met with the Mason family in relation to this case earlier this year, and since that time my department has been in regular contact with them," she said at the time.

The inquest is expected to run for three weeks from Monday.

Annette’s murder had a profound effect on the Toowoomba, and no one was ever charged with the murder. Picture: John Gass / AAP Images.
Annette’s murder had a profound effect on the Toowoomba, and no one was ever charged with the murder. Picture: John Gass / AAP Images.


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