Tara Brown’s mother revealed she suffered abuse at the hands of a former boyfriend


The mother of a woman who was bashed to death with a fire hydrant cover by her bikie boyfriend has revealed she also suffered domestic violence at the hands of a partner.

Natalie Hinton, 56, admitted she had been abused by her boyfriend just like her daughter Tara Brown, 24, who was killed on the Gold Coast on September 8, 2015.

Ms Brown was run off the road by her estranged Bandidos bikie enforcer partner Lionel Patea before she was brutally bashed to death with a steel fire hydrant.

Ms Hinton said she recognised the signs early on that her daughter was in a toxic relationship after coming out of one herself, Courier Mail reported.

Her daughter was 18 years old when Ms Hinton began to see a man who spat on her, belittled the single-mother and stalked her to the point police had to intervene.

Her confession comes as Ms Hinton revealed she has yet to tell her 10-year-old granddaughter Aria how her mother died. The child has only been told her mother was killed in a car crash while her father is in prison for hurting people. 

The mother (pictured, Natalie Hinton) of a woman who was bashed to death with a fire hydrant cover by her bikie boyfriend has revealed she also suffered domestic violence at the hands of a partner

Natalie Hinton, 56, admitted she had been abused by her boyfriend just like her daughter Tara Brown, 24, who was killed on the Gold Coast on September 8, 2015

Natalie Hinton, 56, admitted she had been abused by her boyfriend just like her daughter Tara Brown, 24, who was killed on the Gold Coast on September 8, 2015

Ms Hinton realised Ms Brown was also in a toxic relationship as she noticed Patea take control of her life, manage her money, decide what outfits she wore and made several attempts to isolate her from family.

‘I’d see bruising on her arms, like he’d been forcefully holding her,’ she said. 

On one occasion Ms Hinton said she received a distressing phone call from her daughter in April 2012.

Ms Brown was 33 weeks pregnant and was rattled following a violent outburst from Patea in her car at Mermaid Beach.

He busted the windscreen, smashed the side mirrors, spat in Ms Brown’s face and called her a ‘putrid dog mongrel slut’.  

‘Mum, he’s smashed my car again; he’s ripped my dress off,’ Ms Brown said on the phone.

Ms Brown, who was too fearful to make a formal complaint, also revealed her partner had threatened her with a handgun. 

Ms Brown and Patea had known each other since they were five years old as they grew up in the same New Zealand/Maori community on the Gold Coast.

Ms Hinton said her daughter would regularly come home from school with stories of Patea and his brother always ‘getting into trouble’.

The pair grew closer over the years and Ms Hinton watched her daughter slowly be won over by him as he showered her with gifts.

‘We’d struggled all the way through; I couldn’t shower her with all the gifts like he was,’ she said.

Patea pleaded guilty to Ms Brown’s murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017.

Ms Brown was run off the road by her estranged Bandidos bikie enforcer partner Lionel Patea before she was brutally bashed to death with a steel fire hydrant cover

Ms Brown was run off the road by her estranged Bandidos bikie enforcer partner Lionel Patea before she was brutally bashed to death with a steel fire hydrant cover 

Ms Hinton said she recognised the signs early on that her daughter was in a toxic relationship after coming out of one herself

Ms Hinton said she recognised the signs early on that her daughter was in a toxic relationship after coming out of one herself 

Disturbing details about the days leading up to Ms Brown’s death were revealed in a coronial inquest which found there were 27 lethality risk factors present at the time she was killed.

These included a history of violence from Patea towards Ms Brown, threats by Patea to commit suicide and attempts he had made to isolate her from her family and friends.

Patea also sought control over every aspect of her life and would not only force her to pay rent for living in his home but would move money out of her account leaving her, on one occasion, with just $8.

Ms Hinton said police were meant to consider cases as urgent as soon as six risk factors were present but shockingly Ms Brown’s case ‘wasn’t considered as urgent’ by cops. 

The deputy state coroner found police had dismissed Ms Brown when she asked them for help.

Ms Bentley said Ms Brown had gone to police to make an application for a domestic violence protection order on September 3 – five days before her death.

Her pleas for help were rejected, with one officer telling an internal investigation it was ‘commonplace for women to make false allegations to further their position in Family Court matters’.

Prior to her death, Ms Brown had revealed her partner had threatened her with a handgun and smashed her windscreen

Prior to her death, Ms Brown had revealed her partner had threatened her with a handgun and smashed her windscreen 

Ms Brown had dropped her daughter off at daycare when Patea ran her off a Gold Coast road, forcing her down an embankment

Ms Brown had dropped her daughter off at daycare when Patea ran her off a Gold Coast road, forcing her down an embankment 

Ms Brown’s solicitor had called ahead at the Southport Police Station to request a private room for Ms Brown so she could discuss her fears over Patea.

But Ms Bentley said police failed to provide a room or to take a statement when Ms Brown arrived at the station.

Ms Brown even showed the constable at reception she had received ‘hundreds of messages in the space of hours’ from Patea.

‘The constable spoke to his shift supervisor, a sergeant, and both concluded that they had no evidence to confirm that domestic and family violence had occurred,’ Ms Bentley said.

The deputy state coroner also said Ms Brown had seen a member of Patea’s family outside the station and expressed concern they might be watching her.

Her confession comes as Ms Hinton revealed she has yet to tell her 10-year-old granddaughter Aria how her mother died. The child has only been told her mother died in a car crash while her father is in prison for hurting people

Her confession comes as Ms Hinton revealed she has yet to tell her 10-year-old granddaughter Aria how her mother died. The child has only been told her mother died in a car crash while her father is in prison for hurting people 

Ms Brown also revealed she had been pinned down on the bed and threatened with a pair of scissors by Patea.

Ms Bentley said the constable did not accurately record the incident when he was told about it.

‘Ms Brown reported that Mr Patea held scissors to her throat and threatened her, but the constable’s recollection and reporting of events differed dramatically from that of the solicitor and Ms Brown’s mother, who were also present,’ Ms Bentley said.

‘He recorded that scissors fell out of Mr Patea’s pocket after he pushed her onto the bed and that it was not a violent push.

‘Ms Brown was reluctant to sign a statement about the events.’

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