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'Remorseful' teen in fatal Australia Day crash faces murder trial


A teenager accused of murdering a Brisbane couple in a horrifying Australia Day joyride crash is said to be “remorseful and profoundly sorry” as he was ordered to stand trial.

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The teenager is charged with murdering Kate Leadbetter, 31, and Matthew Field, 37, who were walking their dogs in Alexandra Hills, southeast of Brisbane in January.

Ms Leadbetter was six months’ pregnant at the time.

Media – who were previously refused access to court proceedings – were granted leave to remain in the Brisbane Children’s Court as the teenager, who cannot be identified, was committed to stand trial.

Police allege the 17-year-old Logan boy ran a red light in a Landcruiser and collided with a truck at an intersection before the 4WD rolled and ploughed into the couple who were crossing the road.

They both died at the scene and it’s alleged the teen fled before stealing a set of keys from a nearby house.

He was arrested by police after being disturbed by the resident.

Police believe the Landcruiser had been stolen from a home in Cleveland earlier that afternoon.

The teenager was charged with two counts of murder as well as offences relating to dangerous driving while under the influence of an intoxicant, failing to fulfil duties at the scene of a crash, wilful damage and burglary.

Defence barrister Ruth O’Gorman addressed the court on the teen’s behalf on the murder charges.

“(He) accepts that by his manner of driving on the day in question that he caused the deaths of Ms Leadbetter and Mr Fields.

“He has communicated that to the prosecuting authority, even at this very early stage.

“He is profoundly sorry and remorseful for what occurred.

“However, he disputes that he knew by his manner of driving that he would probably have caused those deaths.”

The teenager, who has recently turned 18, appeared by video-link as the charges were mentioned.

He did not enter a plea and was not supported by family members or friends for the brief appearance.

The was remanded for mention on December 6.

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