A man who allegedly made multiple confessions to fatally bashing Queensland teenager Annette Mason was seen with blood on his jeans around the time of her murder but a witness can’t recall if it was the same night.
A second inquest into the 1989 death of the 15-year-old has been told repeatedly this week that person-of-interest Allan McQueen disclosed to those close to him that he was behind Annette’s death.
An acquaintance of McQueen, who can’t be named for legal reasons, also testified on Wednesday that McQueen had turned up at a residence after midnight one night with three other men to use the washing machine.
“(He) said, ‘we’ve been in a fight and we’re going to wash out our clothes’. I had a quick look and I seen Allan McQueen there,” the witness told Brisbane Coroners Court.
The group was drunk and McQueen had blood on his jeans.
“Blood, near where he put his hands in his pockets,” the witness said.
The witness couldn’t remember if it was the same weekend Ms Mason was murdered but said it was about that time.
A large contingent of Ms Mason’s family tearfully endured the testimony. Outside court, their lawyer Leanne McDonald said they wanted to “face-off ” with McQueen who is a prime suspect in the 29-year-old murder case.
“We are only three days into a three week trial and already you can see that this is a very complex case with a lot of different players involved,” she said in a statement.
Ms McDonald praised the “bravery” of the witnesses, who had been forced through fear to hold onto secrets in a close-knit community for many decades.
Earlier, another witness whose identity has also been suppressed recalled McQueen had tried to get Ms Mason into Rumours nightclub in Toowoomba the night she died.
Because she was underage, however, McQueen wasn’t able to get her past the bouncers.
The witness told the inquest McQueen and his friends went inside and partied the night away without Ms Mason but she was spotted later by one of their friends walking in the street.
Annette’s bloodied body was later discovered in her bed.
“We all felt for the poor family. It was horrible. It’s the worst thing I can remember in Toowoomba in the time I was there,” the witness said.
At least five witnesses including police have already told the inquest McQueen subsequently made a series of admissions regarding Annette’s abuse and her death.
A previous inquest into Annette’s death found insufficient evidence to pin down her killer.
The inquest continues.