Alleged Townsville vigilante charged with murder


An alleged vigilante accused of being behind the wheel of the car that struck and killed a 22-year-old woman in Townsville during a wild chase of suspected youth criminals has been charged with murder.

The 25-year-old man will appear in court on Tuesday following the dramatic arrest of two 18-year-old youths who police will allege were behind the wheel of a stolen car involved in the tragic incident.

The northern Queensland community was devastated by the death of Jennifer Board on Friday night. It sparked a renewed push for the Palaszczuk government to be tougher on youth crime.

Police say a 25-year-old man from Bushland Beach was behind the wheel of a Holden sedan that was in pursuit of a stolen Hyundai filled with teen offenders.

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During the wild chase, the Holden spun out of control after the two vehicles collided. This caused the car to enter the wrong side of the road and hit Ms Board, police allege.

Police raided a home in Townsville on Monday and arrested two 18-year-old men who were later charged with unlawful use of a vehicle offences and attempted burglary. A 17-year-old girl who was also believed to be in the stolen Hyundai at the time was arrested over the weekend.

All three men will appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Vigilantism has become common in the northern Queensland city as the area grapples with a supposed youth crime epidemic, but Ms Board’s devastated close friend and police officer, Luke Matthews, condemned civilians taking law into their own hands.

“Your actions are extremely dangerous,” he said in a lengthy Facebook post.

He said the reckless nature of vigilantism further endangers the community and “undoes all the good you thought you were doing”.

“Please stop chasing these cars,” Mr Matthews said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is expected to announce a new youth crime taskforce on Tuesday headed by the state’s anti-terror boss following a horrific spate of road accidents related to young criminals.

Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon will be given the job of bringing the supposed crisis under control, with a range of new laws such as GPS trackers slapped on repeat offenders and an overhaul of bail conditions suggested as likely adoptions.



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