Fabiana Palhares who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo: Facebook.
Fabiana Palhares who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo: Facebook.

Murderer ‘stomped on pregnant partner’s stomach’ in attack

BROCK Wall bludgeoned his ex-partner with a tomahawk and stomped on her pregnant stomach, killing his unborn child, just 90 minutes after being served with domestic violence papers.

The former NSW labourer walked down the side of Fabiana Palhares' Varsity Lakes home just after lunch on February 2, 2015, and snuck through the laundry door, ambushing the 35-year-old in a bloodied, cowardly attack.

He then fled, leaving Ms Palhares to phone triple 0 herself. She died in hospital hours later.

The Gold Coast Bulletin has chosen not to reveal the full extent of the horrific injuries she suffered.

THIS IS WHAT A KILLER LOOKS LIKE

But the circumstances of how Ms Palhares died can be told for the first time after Wall, 38, pleaded guilty yesterday in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to her murder.

"I am sorry," he said when asked by Justice Ann Lyons if there was anything further he wanted to say.

He will be sentenced for murder and killing an unborn child on August 6.

The Gold Coast Bulletin can also reveal that neither Ms Palhares' family and friends, nor Queensland Police knew of Wall's domestic violence past.

Brock Wall. Photo Rebecca Davis / The Observer
Brock Wall. Photo Rebecca Davis / The Observer

An apprehended violence order had been taken out against Wall in New South Wales in 2002 to stop him attacking another former partner.

He was also convicted of assault in that same year.

Queensland Police were unaware of the order at the time Ms Palhares sought help because of laws that meant officers could not access domestic violence orders from other states.

A national domestic violence database has been set up since Ms Palhares' murder.

About 12.30pm on the day of Ms Palhares' death, police served Wall with a new domestic violence order at his Surfers Paradise home.

The murder scene at Varsity Lakes where Fabiana Palhares was murdered. Friends of the murder victim leave floral tributes at the scene. Picture by Scott Fletcher
The murder scene at Varsity Lakes where Fabiana Palhares was murdered. Friends of the murder victim leave floral tributes at the scene. Picture by Scott Fletcher

Ms Palhares took out an order on January 5 after the two had a fight in her driveway.

She asked for it to be updated 16 days later after Wall jumped the fence, broke into her home and watched as she slept.

The Brazilian cleaner was living in fear and had installed CCTV around the home in case Wall tried to break in again.

It was that CCTV that captured Wall walking in with a tomahawk on February 2.

Ms Palhares, who lived with two flatmates, was home alone.

Police caught Wall just a block away from Ms Palhares' house, covered in her blood.

He was arrested and placed in a blue forensic suit.

The murder scene at Varsity Lakes where Fabiana Palhares was murdered. Police dust a car for finger prints. Picture by Scott Fletcher
The murder scene at Varsity Lakes where Fabiana Palhares was murdered. Police dust a car for finger prints. Picture by Scott Fletcher

The Brazilian victim was being treated by paramedics and was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

Wall had moved to the Gold Coast from NSW about a year earlier and met Ms Palhares a few months before her death.

He was working as a labourer and only came to the attention of police when Ms Palhares took out the domestic violence order.

Ms Palhares' friends knew little of Wall, who they said isolated her from their usual group.

In earlier court proceedings Wall, who represented himself, indicated he was going to argue he had become "accidentally intoxicated" the day of the murder.

Fabiana Palhares who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo from Facebook
Fabiana Palhares who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo from Facebook

He had also made an unsuccessful push to have the case moved to the Mental Health Court.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury told the court some of the evidence tendered to the court was graphic and confronting.

Justice Lyons yesterday told Wall he had saved "a considerable amount of money" by not proceeding to trial.

"The evidence was going to be graphic and confronting," she said.

"That needs to be recorded that you saved that stress."

Detectives seize items from the Surfers Paradise unit of murder accused Brock Wall. Pic: Jack Houghton
Detectives seize items from the Surfers Paradise unit of murder accused Brock Wall. Pic: Jack Houghton

Detective Inspector Marc Hogan, of the Gold Coast police domestic violence taskforce, said police were relieved the case had "reached an end particularly for all those who knew Fabiana".

"The incident had a significant impact on Fabiana's family and friends, our community and police," he said.

"I am glad this can bring the family some sort of closure.

"As with the Tara Brown matter, this incident changed the sector and how we police domestic violence on the Gold Coast."

Ms Brown was bashed to death with a fire hydrant cover by her former partner, Lionel Patea, in 2015. He is serving a life sentence in jail.

Ms Palhares' brother is expected to travel from Brazil for Wall's sentencing next month.

Fabiana Palhares, who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo from Facebook
Fabiana Palhares, who was murdered in her Varsity Lakes home. Photo from Facebook


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