New revelation in Tim Pullen case
THE family of a Mackay man who was brutally killed and disposed of in bushland has been dealt another devastating blow after learning parole had been opposed, for one of the men linked to the manslaughter, barely a month before he walked free.
Luke Shayne Kister was one of six people charged after Timothy Pullen was abducted and killed in April 2012 - his body has never been found.
The 34-year-old was taken from a North Mackay unit, his body stored in a nightclub coldroom, driven three hours and dumped. It is unknown how Mr Pullen died or what happened to his remains.
Kister was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to accessory to manslaughter - he helped dispose of Mr Pullen's body - with parole eligibility from June 2, 2017. And he was released weeks before the landmark No Body No Parole legislation, which the Pullens helped pushed for.
A Right to Information request has uncovered that on June 20, 2017, after considering the application on four separate occasions, the now defunct Central and Northern Regional Parole Board had made a preliminary decision not to grant Kister's release "and noted the victim's body had not been located".
However the then-newly established Parole Board Queensland, which took over in early July 2017, granted parole release later that month.
"It was a mother's worst nightmare to find out that someone who had participated in taking her son somewhere, storing him for 24 hours and then taking him hundreds of kilometres and then disposing of (him)… was let out of prison days before a legislation that would have kept him in jail," Tim's mother Leanne Pullen said.
"We'll never forget how gutted we felt. But to find out not that a month previously it had been rejected… it's really quite unbelievable."
The RTI request was made by former public servant Paul Turner, who was sacked for revealing the Pullen family had been paraded like "political pawns" while information relating to one of their son's killers Benjamin Oakley had been withheld.
Mr Turner said there was no apparent reason Parole Board Queensland could not explain why it had approved Kister's release despite the regional opposition.
Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan said in this matter decisions regarding parole were made by the QPB, "which is an independent body".
"The circumstances that led to the end of this young man's life are utterly sad and tragic," Mr Ryan said.
"My thoughts are with the Pullen family and with all other families who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances."