The Queensland Police Service’s Ethical Standards Command is investigating how the foster father accused of killing schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer collapsed in custody.
Rick Thorburn is reported to have swallowed pills after he was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly murdering the 12-year-old and interfering with her corpse.
The 56-year-old however collapsed in the Beenleigh watch house, south of Brisbane, soon after his arrest.
He is in an induced coma in the Princess Alexandra Hospital, missing what was due to be his first court appearance yesterday.
Thorburn’s 19-year-old son Trent was yesterday denied bail over alleged incest with Tiahleigh and perverting the course of justice.
Prosecutors told the court Trent, who was working as a dance trainer, had sex with Tiahleigh a week before she died.
The court heard he confided in a cousin that he feared he had gotten Tiahleigh pregnant, even though he had withdrawn before ejaculation.
The court was told Trent had sex with Tiahleigh “because she had threatened to kill his dog”.
“Rather than providing her with the care and the love that she required as a child, this defendant betrayed her trust, he abused his position of big brother and took advantage of her and the consequences are, her young life has been taken,” police prosecutor Sergeant Ellen French told the court.
Tiahleighs’s foster mother Julene Thorburn and a second foster brother, Josh, are due to face court next month, accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice.
Police alleged Julene was aware of Tiahleigh and Trent’s relationship.
Tiahleigh had been placed with the Thorburn family at their Chambers Flat home, south of Brisbane, for months.
Her body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River last November, a week after she was last seen alive.
The case has prompted the Queensland Family and Child Commission to review the blue card child protection system.
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