By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
The frightful case of the murder of pregnant teenager, Tiffany Taylor, was heard in the Supreme Court recently after orders from the court for the man accused of killing her to stand trial.
Rodney Williams was sentenced to life in jail after being found guilty of murdering the 16-year-old girl in 2015.
Previously, Mr Williams had pleaded not guilty to the murder of the teenager, who disappeared on 12 July of the same year, following meeting the 65-year-old man at Waterford West in Brisbane’s south.
To this day, Ms Taylor’s body has not been found, despite far-reaching searches of bushland in and around the Fernvale area and desperate pleas from her family.
Mr Williams will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison.
The Grisly Details of Tiffany Taylor’s Murder
Previously, evidence against Mr Williams had been put forward that the man had met Ms Taylor on the online dating website, Oasis, through which he had arranged to meet the pregnant teenager and made an agreement to pay her for sex in July 2015.
Police claim Mr Williams killed Ms Taylor in the south west of Brisbane after he realised he had no money to hand over to her.
Mr Williams denied having sex with the girl.
Police also put forward claims that traces of Ms Taylor’s blood were found inside Mr Williams’ Hyundai sedan – to which Mr Williams had told police he noticed the girl had a nosebleed as she entered his car.
In addition to this, police presented footage from a traffic camera indicated he was the last person spotted with Ms Tiffany, in which he was seen driving on the Logan Motorway.
Police allege it was at this point that he drove her to an isolated industrial estate at Larapinta, leaving him with plenty of opportunities to kill her.
Lawyers for Mr Williams denied he had anything to do with the 16-year-old’s disappearance.
Eight Hour Deliberation: The Shocking Revelations about Mr Williams Heard in the Supreme Court
During Mr Williams’ sentencing, Brisbane’s Supreme Court heard the man had formerly been convicted of murdering an elderly woman in Tasmania in 1978.
This was a crime for which he received a life in jail sentence.
Details of the murder exposed that during a robbery, Mr Williams had punched his aged neighbour.
He then stabbed her in the back, killing her.
In 1994, Mr Williams was also convicted for the indecent assault of a girl.
The revelations led to an eight-hour deliberation by the Supreme Jury court.
Justice Ann Lyons Determines Mr Williams “Preyed On” Young Girl then “Simply Discarded Her”
In sentencing Mr Williams for the murder of Ms Taylor, Justice Ann Lyons said the man “preyed on” the teenager who was “clearly defenceless”.
“Ms Taylor’s life had value,” Justice Lyons said.
“She was excited about her pregnancy, she was close to her sister, and her diary reveals her plans for the future.
“As her family said, she was under it all a naïve young girl.
“There can be no doubt you preyed on her.
“Only you will know what transpired that afternoon but the conclusion is she died at your hands.”
Justice Lyons went on to express the lack of respect the man showed the young girl after she died.
“You simply discarded her and then you continued your life as normal.”
After eight hours of deliberation, the Supreme Court jury found Mr Williams intentionally killed the pregnant teenager.
The crime of murder under the law in NSW is committed when a person commits a voluntary act resulting in a victim’s death, if at the time of doing this, that person also intended to cause death, or a really serious injury (or permanent or serious disfiguring), or realised the probability of causing the death, or was committing another crime (being a crime carrying a penalty of up to at least 25-years jail).
The maximum sentence for murder that the NSW Supreme Court can impose is imprisonment for life only if the extent of culpability is so extreme that the community interest in retribution, punishment, community protection & deterrence can only be satisfied by imposing such a sentence, prescribed by the mandatory life sentence under section 61 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW).
When the Court decides not to impose the life sentence, the court will impose a minimum period of full-time custody (non-parole period) before the offender will be eligible for release on parole (parole period).
Murder carries a standard non-parole period of 20-years if the offending conduct falls in the mid-range of objective seriousness for such offences. This 20-year non-parole period isn’t a mandatory requirement to be applied, rather it’s a guide to help the Judge to come to a fair sentence.
For more information on the law on murder charges, call us for a free consultation. Our criminal lawyers in Sydney specialise in murder cases.