Annette Mason murder: ‘Petrified’ witness tells inquest person of interest confessed to killing teen
A key witness has changed her evidence at the inquest into the 1989 death of Queensland teenager Annette Mason, saying she heard a man confess to killing the 15-year-old.
- Toowoomba teen Annette Mason was found bludgeoned to death in her bed in November 1989
- Key witness told the inquest that she heard Allan MacQueen confess to killing Annette
- Witness said she was scared of Mr MacQueen, who was in the court room when she testified at the time
Witness Kylie Nothdurft told the Coroner’s Court she was at a barbeque with Allan MacQueen the year after 15-year-old Annette Mason was killed, where she heard him say he had killed the teenager.
Ms Nothdurft told police at the time about what she had heard, but said she “froze” when an initial inquest was held in 1991, because Mr MacQueen was in the court room, and she was “absolutely petrified” of him.
“I had him standing, staring at me in the court and I was scared — I was 16 years of age,” Ms Nothdurft told the reopened inquest.
She said “all hell broke loose” when she was brought in to the court room in 1991.
“I could hear him [Mr MacQueen] screaming, yelling, swearing, going to kill everybody, and that’s when I froze and didn’t want to say anything,” she said.
Counsel assisting the Coroner said Mr MacQueen had been taken out of the court room at the time, but he could still be heard from inside.
“He might have been, I can’t recall — I was just too distraught,” Ms Nothdurft told the inquest.
“I don’t know if he was sitting in there or whether they took him out, but I could hear him screaming and yelling.”
Earlier at Monday’s hearing, the court heard Mr MacQueen was one of a number of persons of interest in the case.
Annette Mason was found bludgeoned to death in her bed in Toowoomba in November 1989.
She had recently moved in to a house with friends, when her mother moved away for work.
The teenager was last seen at 3:30am on the day she was killed, when a taxi driver dropped her home.
But the court heard police had spoken to witnesses who saw a girl matching Annette Mason’s description about 4:15am, running along the road outside her house, looking frightened.
Despite an extensive police investigation at the time and another coronial inquest in 1991, no-one has been charged.
Forensics experts are still re-examining a number of pieces of evidence, including clothing, bedding and possible murder weapons.
The Mason family is hoping the reopened inquest will finally lead to someone being charged, with Annette’s sister, Linda Mason, saying the family want answers.
“We want the truth, we don’t want any more secrets, we want people to talk, and if anyone has anything they can let us know, we’ve still got three weeks of this inquest,” she said.
“My message would be to own up to what they did, tell us what they did and why they did it and give us some answers. We deserve that. Annette deserves that.”
The inquest has been set down for three weeks and will hear from 62 witnesses.