Queensland man sentenced to life in prison for 1996 murder of friend Gregory Thurlow
A Queensland man has been sentenced to life behind bars after confessing to killing his friend almost 30 years ago. Mark Stephen Murphy admitted to killing flatmate Gregory Thurlow on October 1, 1996. Mr Thurlow’s uncle, Ray Thurlow said Murphy’s sentencing would finally bring closure for the family. “It’s been 26 years since we lost our son, brother and nephew and today finally brought closure,” he said.
“He never was an angel, but he had a good family and he would’ve turned into a good man and good family man, had he been given the opportunity. “The court heard that Murphy had gone to pick Mr Thurlow up from a friend’s house in Bray Park, in the Moreton Bay region, following complaints Mr Thurlow was high and drunk.
Murphy, who had also taken drugs, began to drive Mr Thurlow home.Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said it was then Murphy contemplated killing his friend. “He started contemplating that Mr Thurlow’s behaviour had to end, and that perhaps he was going to kill him,” Mr Fuller said.
The court heard Murphy had taken a hammer from his car, striking Mr Thurlow. It was heard Mr Thurlow had managed to escape, running into a nearby paddock before becoming stuck in barbed wire. Murphy then knocked him unconscious before throwing him in the boot.When he heard moaning from the boot of the car, Murphy pulled over and killed Mr Thurlow.
The court heard Murphy asked friends and his former partner what to do with the body before finally burying him in the state forest on the Sunshine Coast. Despite suspicion that Murphy was behind Mr Thurlow’s murder, he was not charged until 2020.
Murphy confessed to killing his friend in his jail cell while awaiting trial.The judge said the case was “a sound reminder about the consequences of illicit drugs”. “Your actions have had a devastating effect on Mr Thurlow’s family and your own, your three daughters… one who is only aged nine or 10,” Justice Peter Applegarth said.
Murphy will be eligible for parole in 13 years.”It is what it is,” Ray Thurlow said.”That’s the law of the time.”