Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fresh Evidence in Shandee Blackburn Case; Witness: Shandee's Death Was a Bag Robbery Gone Wrong

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Fresh Evidence in Shandee Blackburn Case; Witness: Shandee's Death Was a Bag Robbery Gone Wrong

Article excerpt

Byline: Janessa Ekert janessa.ekert@dailymercury.com.au

"IT WAS supposed to be a snatch and run that went wrong."

Sumara Blackman, who has given evidence for the first time, told Mackay Coroners Court she had heard the murder of Shandee Blackburn stemmed from a robbery gone wrong. A self-confessed drug user and alcoholic gave a colourful testimony yesterday on what she believed she knew and had heard about the 23 year old's death.

At the end of Ms Blackman's evidence, Coroner David O'Connell asked her if she was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

"Why do I wanna be like that fool," she told the court.

"I'm clean and f***ing sober and I'm telling the truth."

She told the court she remembered her brother Levii Blackman had told her on Saturday night, February 10 in 2013 that William Daniel and Norman Dorante had murdered Ms Blackburn.

"It was supposed to be a snatch and run that went wrong. It was all about the bag," Counsel Assisting the Coroner John Aberdeen asked her, and she said yes.

The inquest heard Ms Blackman had told police that one night before Mr Daniel went to Western Australia that she had been high on "synthetic sh*t" with Mr Daniel and Mr Dorante in her unit.

"I remember that Will said something like, it doesn't matter how much pressure they put on us we will never crack," Mr Aberdeen said, reading from Ms Blackman's statement.

"You then say in your statement we weren't talking about Shandee at the time but I know that's what they were talking about." Ms Blackman said that was true.

Yesterday Mr Blackman admitted he had lied about what he knew about Shandee's murder. The 23 year old, who also gave evidence yesterday, said he told lies because he "didn't know what I was doing" and was "confused".

He was grilled for more than four hours on day two of the inquest during which he repeated that he had been pressured by police into lying. …

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