A man witnesses say made multiple confessions to the 1989 murder of a Queensland teen has refused to give evidence at an inquest into her death but instead offered to take a lie detector test.
Allan McQueen was a person of interest after Annette Mason was found bludgeoned to death in her Toowoomba bedroom on November 19 after a night out with friends.
He cannot be forced give evidence because the 15-year-old was killed before existing laws were put in place giving coroners extra powers to make people testify.
From the witness dock on Thursday, McQueen turned to members of Annette’s family and confronted them directly as they sat in the Brisbane Coroners Court public gallery.
“In 2003, I made an offer to take a lie detector test and you refused that offer. I don’t understand why you refused that offer,” McQueen said.
“There were going to be no lawyers involved. There was going to be no court room involved. And here I sit here today as the prime suspect.
“They’re looking for answers. If you want another lie detector test, it’s on the table.”
But the family claims McQueen never contacted them about taking a lie detector test.
“The only lie detector test of any importance in this country is the criminal justice system,” their lawyer Leanne McDonald told reporters outside court.
Several witnesses have told the inquest they heard McQueen confess to Annette’s murder.
Others say he threatened to kill people who may have given evidence against him.
Former Toowoomba detective Paul Ruge recalled McQueen threatening witnesses at an initial inquest in 1991 which later found insufficient evidence to identify who had killed her.
Among those threatened were sisters Kelli-Lee and Kylie Leggatt, with the former testifying this week that McQueen had confessed while drunk one night in 1989.
“(He) shouted out in a very loud voice that if she gave evidence against him, he would kill her,” Mr Ruge said, unable to recall which sister gave evidence first, on Thursday.
“The next witness came in, he did exactly the same. If they gave evidence against him, that he would kill them.”
The threats did not cease after McQueen was removed from court, Mr Ruge added.
“When these two (other) witnesses were in the courtroom, he was yelling out from the cells that if they gave evidence against him, he would kill them as well,” he said.
Mr Ruge said he was also targeted when escorting McQueen to a watch house at the end of the 1991 inquest.
“On his way back, he threatened at the first opportunity he was going to kill myself and my family,” Mr Ruge said.
The inquest continues.
Australian Associated Press