UPDATE: THE heinous and sadistic murder of Tia Landers has led a Queensland justice to set parole beyond the statutory 20 years that normally comes with life imprisonment. 


John Edward Harris, 44, must serve 27 years without parole.

He has already served 841 days so will become eligible on July 2, 2041. 

Linda Eileen Appleton, 43, must serve 23 years without parole - starting from today. 

Justice Jean Dalton said the only reason Appleton's non-parole period was less was that her criminal history was not as bad as Harris. 

"The motivation for the offending seems to be offence caused to Mr Harris's co-defendant Linda Appleton," she said. 

"She certainly suspected Mr Harris had an affair ... and it seems she also had the view that Ms Landers had stolen clothes and jewellery from her. 

"The offending involved a protracted, sadistic and brutal torture of Ms Landers over a period of several hours ... four to six hours."

Justice Dalton ordered Harris serve more time because of the "heinous nature of this offending", his lack of remorse and for protection of the community.

She said this was compounded by other serious offending including a manslaughter conviction.

The Crown had earlier detailed how that victim was shot with a gun, wrapped in a blanket and dumped in the Beerburrum forest in circumstances strikingly similar to the demise of Tia Landers. 

"It was so sadistic and prolonged, one can't help but conclude that (Harris) was not troubled at all by what he was doing," she said. 

Justice Dalton told Appleton she found it shocking that she was plotting revenge against Ms Landers while she was in prison and then murdered her seven days later.  

EARLIER: THE mother of slain Tia Landers has told a packed courtroom how her daughter's torture and murder has made life unbearable.

Mary Landers's powerful victim impact statement detailed how her family had been torn apart after the mother of four's brutal death.

She said she was now the sole carer of Tia's four children - aged 12, 10, seven and six - and could not give enough of herself to other families struggling in the wake of the horrific crime.

Tia Maria Jayne Landers was last seen in mid-June. Her body was found at Roys Rd Beerwah on July 3.
Tia Maria Jayne Landers was last seen in mid-June. Her body was found at Roys Rd Beerwah on July 3. Facebook

Linda Eileen Appleton and John Edward Harris have pleaded guilty to murdering Tia Landers at Brighton on June 16, 2014.

Ms Landers was brutally attacked with a machete, punched repeatedly and then shot twice in the head before she died.

Her body was found wrapped in a blanket in a shallow grave in Beerburrum forest in July 2014.

Harris and Appleton also pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse and guilty to depriving Tia's friends Jake McKenzie, 24, and Ryan Morgan, 21, of their liberty.

Mrs Landers's niece Haley Matthews courageously read the victim statement to the court, only breaking into tears towards the end.

"I am a widow, a mother, grandmother, sister and now a parent of a murder victim - my daughter Tia Landers," the statement read.

"The loss of a child is the hardest thing to endure. The cold-blooded details of my daughter's torture and murder made this intensely unbearable.

"On June 13, 1985, my daughter was placed in my arms for the first time, just minutes after she took her first breath.

"She was so precious, her face so flawless, her skin so soft and I whispered 'I love you' for the first time.

"Twenty-nine years later on June 19, 2014, I filed a missing persons report at the Deception Bay police station.

"When Tia's body was located, I was told by detectives there was no chance I would be able to see my daughter one last time.

"There was to be no opportunity to whisper the words 'goodbye' and 'I love you' one last time.

"My beautiful daughter lay this time her face not flawless, her skin not soft but rather on a cold slab with her body decomposing, her insides decaying and her brain and soft tissue liquefying after being found in a shallow forestry grave that they (Appleton and Harris) had so coldly discarded her body in.

"It is hard to find the right words to convey the brutal torture and murder of my daughter.

"There are no words adequate to describe the pain, anger and despair that I have developed from her murder."

Harris and Appleton are being sentenced today in Brisbane Supreme Court.

They must receive life imprisonment, which carries a minimum 20 years behind bars, for their crimes.

But the Crown is asking the court to increase the non-parole period because of the gravity of the crimes.

The court resumes at 1.30pm when the Justice Jean Dalton is expected to hand down her sentence. - ARM NEWSDESK

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