‘Severe beating’: Alleged tower murder filmed on mobile phone
THE alleged severe beating and murder of Brisbane teenager Cian English at a Gold Coast tower was filmed and posted to social media by a teenage girl who had tagged along with three men charged with killing him.
The 19-year-old, from Hawthorne, was found dead just after 3am on Saturday morning outside the View Pacific resort in Surfers Paradise.
It was initially believed Mr English had fallen by misadventure, but police investigations led to the arrest of three men from Logan and Brisbane, aged 18, 20 and 22, on Saturday night. The trio were yesterday charged with murder and two counts of armed robbery.
The 18-year-old is due to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court this morning while the other two men are expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
Police will allege two groups - one including Mr English and his friend - and another which included two girls and two boys, all 16, along with his accused killers in their 20s, had spent the night partying together and taking prescription drugs at the View Ave tower.
Police are also investigating a link between the prescription drugs and brazen chemist robberies on the northern Gold Coast and Logan in recent weeks and the connection between the men.
Police will allege three men began violently assaulting Mr English and his friend, demanding they take off their clothes and give them their phones after hours of partying between two different units. The units were one below the other.
It's understood one of the 16-year-old girls, believed to be from the northern Gold Coast, filmed the violent exchange, where one of the men allegedly held a knife to one of the victim's throats.
It will be further alleged Mr English has attempted to flee the assault and has run onto the balcony. What happened from there is still being investigated, but the 19-year-old has ended up 10 metres below dead.
Footage posted to social media allegedly captures one of the girls commenting that he had gone over the balcony.
A passer-by first spotted the body of the teen at 3.15am Saturday and called police.
On arrival emergency services found a group of four teenagers, one as young as 16 in the hotel room, in varying states of consciousness.
They were taken to Robina Hospital and treated for drug overdoses.
The exact cause of Mr English's death is expected to be known in the coming days.
Around the same time that Mr English was fleeing for his life, police had stopped two 16-year-old boys, who had been with the group accused of killing Mr English.
It will be alleged they were found to be in possession of prescription drugs.
Police are investigating if the pair had stolen the drugs from the three men accused of killing Mr English.
The four 16-year-olds have not been charged in relation to Mr English's death.
Investigations are ongoing with more charges expected in the coming days.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said Mr English's family were "shattered".
"Investigators have spoken to the family and they are just shattered and rightly so," he said.
"You don't expect to have the police knocking on your door with that kind of outcome. Our priority is on the solving of this serious and vicious crime."
It is the latest in a series of violent alleged robberies in the past year which have involved knives and the theft of clothes and mobile phones.
Det Supt Smith said the alleged crime was devastating.
"It is a tragic circumstance around this - you have a young man on the Gold Coast with his friends and one thing has led to another and he's now dead. I don't know how you reconcile that as a family or even as a community," he said.
"It is becoming too common and we need to stop it. Violence doesn't solve anything."
Originally published as 'Severe beating': Alleged tower murder filmed on mobile phone