Suspect in Annette Mason cold case murder boasted about killing girl, inquest hears
A person of interest in the cold case murder of Toowoomba teenager Annette Mason has told a coronial inquest his name has been “thrown around in the mud” for 30 years.
- Annette Mason was found bludgeoned to death in her house in November 1989
- A previous inquest into her death could not find anyone responsible
- Person of interest Michael Laine says he hasn’t lied and has cooperated with police
The first inquest into Annette Mason’s death could not find anyone responsible. (Supplied: Mason family)
Annette, who was 15 years old, was found bludgeoned to death in her house in November 1989 after a night out with friends.
A previous inquest found there was not enough evidence to find anyone responsible for her death.
The current inquest underway in Brisbane heard Michael Laine was one of a number of persons of interest in the investigation.
Witness Nathan Beningfield told the inquest that when he was about 16 years old he was drinking with friends, including Michael Laine.
He said Mr Laine allegedly confessed to killing a girl and was “boasting” that he got away with it.
“[He said]… he bashed her with a piece of wood,” Mr Beningfield said.
“I recall him saying it was part of a fence.
“He was very serious.”
Mr Beningfield said Mr Laine did not mention a name of the person, but another friend later told him it was a girl on Anzac Avenue.
“Everyone was a bit scared of Mick,” Mr Beningfield said.
“…he said this in front of everyone.”
Mr Laine told the court that when Annette Mason was murdered, he went to the police station to cooperate and answer questions.
“I said, what do I have to do to clear my name?” Mr Laine said.
“I haven’t lied all the way through. I don’t really need to rehash anything.
“My name has been thrown around in the mud for nearly 30 years.”
Mr Laine told the court he felt sorry for the Mason family.
“There’s nothing I can do to give them what they want,” he said.
“I know these people have been waiting 30 years.
“But I’ve copped 30 years of utter bull**** and torment.”
Mr Laine said the repeated questioning over Annette Mason’s death was like “groundhog day” and claimed police had “tunnel vision” during their investigation.