Debbie Combarngo.
Debbie Combarngo.

Six of the ‘Wilsonton Nine’ face sentence hearing

FOR the first time a Toowoomba court has heard what the Crown claim happened on the day Debbie Combarngo was killed inside a Wilsonton unit in May 2018.

Nine people, who became known as The Wilsonton Nine, namely Joshua James Lingwoodock, 35, Rhianna Jade Fing, 31, Ty Peter Fing, 25, Ashley Aaron Fing, 27, Christine Maree Hall, 36, Jana Leigh Hall, 30, Rhonda Ann Hall, 31, Lynn Fay Jean Anderson, 28, and Shiralee Fernando, 32 - were each charged with murder arising from the death of Debbie Combarngo in a McGregor St unit on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

However, at the conclusion of a committal hearing earlier this year, six of the nine, namely Ty Peter Fing, Christine Hall, Joshua James Lingwoodock, Jana Leigh Hall, Ashley Aaron Fing and Lynn Fay Jean Anderson all pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, burglary while armed and in company, and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company.

The other three, Rhianna Fing, Shiralee Fernando and Rhonda Hall, remain charged with murder and are expected to face trial early next year in Toowoomba.

Today was the start of three days of submissions and sentencing of the six on manslaughter and associated charges.

Crown prosecutor Mark Green explained the incident arose from bad blood between the parties, many of whom were siblings and cousins, after the death of Rhonda Hall's brother Michael Hall, 31, who had died of a drug overdose on April 21, 2018.

Michael Hall had died at the then home of Debbie Combarngo and her daughter Claudia Combarngo who were present at the time.

Two days before Michael Hall's funeral, the six women had gathered and discussed what they were going to do about Michael Hall's death.

The women then took a maxi taxi to a Champagne Crescent home where they were joined by Ty and Ashley Fing and Joshua Lingwoodock who agreed to accompany them in support of the women who said they were going to fight Debbie Combarngo, he said.

Debbie and Claudia Combarngo were in the bedroom when the group arrived about 2pm.

Claudia Combarngo's boyfriend Tristan Hooper answered the knock at the door and the group filed in.

While some of the group waited in the lounge, others entered the bedroom where Debbie and Claudia were struck with a range of objects including a golf club, a hammer and a metal pole.

When Tristan Hooper went to their aid he was punched in the face by Joshua Lingwoodock and fell to the ground, he then jumped on top of Claudia to shield her from the blows, Mr Green said.

One of the women was heard to say: "You killed my brother, you killed Mickey, don't you dare turn up at his funeral".

After the group left, Debbie had got up off the floor spurting blood from a stab wound to her chest, he said.

At 2.14pm she was rushed by ambulance to hospital where she went into cardiac arrest and despite medical teams working on her for some time she was pronounced dead at 3.21pm, Mr Green said.

Police arrested all nine in a maxi taxi at the Wilsonton Shopping Centre that afternoon and all were taken into custody.

Mr Green said it was the Crown case that Rhonda Hall and Shiralee Fernando were responsible for Debbie Combarngo's death but there was no evidence as to who struck the fatal blow.

For the charge of manslaughter, the Crown had set a range of five to seven years in jail for each of the six depending on their respective roles in the matter.

Justice Peter Callaghan is expected to begin sentencing the six tomorrow afternoon following submissions from the barristers of each accused.

Through letters of apology, some of the six had expressed their remorse to the families of Debbie Combarngo with Christine Hall saying through tears: "We all loved her, Debbie is our big sister".


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