Shandee Blackburn
Shandee Blackburn

Shining a light on the streets where evil lurks

A LIGHT will be shone on Mackay's most unsafe areas during the inquest into the murder of Shandee Blackburn with possible calls for increased CCTV cameras and street lighting throughout the city.

Ms Blackburn was stabbed to death just after midnight on February 9, 2013, as she walked home from work.

John Aberdeen, counsel assist to Coroner David O'Connell, said the area where Ms Blackburn's body was found "in the gutter" on Boddington St had limited lighting.

"Your honour may give consideration to whether attention should be given to increasing electronic surveillance of high-risk areas for the purposes of public safety," Mr Aberdeen said during a pre-inquest conference yesterday.

"That will involve a consideration of... what constitutes a high-risk area."

 

Tributes at the site where Shandee Blackburn was murdered on Boddington Street.

Photo Peter Holt / Daily Mercury
Tributes at the site where Shandee Blackburn was murdered on Boddington Street. Photo Peter Holt / Daily Mercury Peter Holt

The circumstances surrounding Ms Blackburn's murder including who or what caused her death will also be explored, and if late night operating venues should provide transport home for employees, who don't have access to a ride home.

"This particular case is extremely unfortunate in that Ms Blackburn generally had transport, but on this occasion did not," Mr Aberdeen said.

In April 2017 John Peros was acquitted of a murder charge following a two-week Supreme Court trial.

"My client's very very concerned that the police for reasons best known to them ignored the person who we say is the prime suspect... and relentlessly pursued a theory that was thoroughly discredited," barrister for Mr Peros Craig Eberhardt said.

 

Vicki Blackburn and her husband Paul Beardmore leave Mackay court house after the pre-inquest conference into the death of her daughter Shandee Blackburn.
Vicki Blackburn and her husband Paul Beardmore outside Mackay court house after the pre-inquest conference into the death of her daughter Shandee Blackburn. Janessa Ekert

Outside court Shandee's mother Vicki Blackburn said "hopefully the truth will come out" through the inquest.

"Whatever it takes to get the truth out. We need to know what happened that night and we need clarity on who, when and why and this is the only way that's going to happen."

The inquest is listed for two weeks at the start of July. Another pre-inquest conference will be held on May 21.