The last three of the ‘Wilsonton Nine’ sentenced for death of Debbie Combarngo
FOR the first time since her death in May 2018, just who delivered the fatal blow that led to Debbie Combarngo’s death has been made public.
However, it was accepted that Shiralee Fernando had been unaware that the broken golf club with which she had struck Debbie Combarngo had caused her a fatal wound to her chest and that she was unaware of how gravely injured the 37-year-old was when she left the scene, Crown prosecutor Mark Green told Toowoomba Supreme Court.
The court heard the assault of Debbie Combarngo and her daughter Claudia and Claudia’s partner Tristan Hooper in a McGregor St unit on Sunday, May 6, 2018, had arisen from bad
blood between cousins after the death of Michael Hall.
Mr Hall, had died of an overdose three weeks earlier and had been with Debbie and Claudia Combarngo at the time and some of Michael’s family had blamed Debbie Combarngo.
That morning, Michael’s sisters Rhonda, 31, and Christine Hall, 36, along with Shiralee Fernando, 31, Jana Hall, 30, Lynne Anderson, 28, and Rhianna Fing, 31, had gathered at Christine Hall’s home where Rhonda Hall assaulted Rhianna Fing asking “What the f*** happened to my brother, Mikey?”
Christine Hall had suggested the group go and confront Debbie Combarngo and they had hired a maxi taxi, en route picking up Joshua Lingwoodock, 35, Ty Fing, 25, and Ashley Fing, 27, as back up.
Christine Hall had armed herself with a hammer, Rhonda Hall a black metal pole and a golf club had been placed in the taxi.
Mr Green said the group entered the McGregor St unit about 2pm and Christine Hall, armed with a hammer, had said “we’re all family here, let’s talk”.
However, Rhonda Hall had said “F*** talking” and the assault on Debbie and Claudia Combarngo began.
Mr Green said it was the Crown case that the head of the golf club broke off during the assault and as Debbie Combarngo moved toward Shiralee Fernando in defence, the jiggered edge of the broken club was plunged into her chest.
Debbie Combarngo sustained a 18mm access wound to her upper left chest and the wound was 23cm deep, passing through a rib.
She was taken to Toowoomba Hospital but was pronounced dead at 3.21pm.
The Crown accepted Ms Fernando had not intended to cause grievous bodily harm or death to Debbie Combarngo and had not been aware the golf club head had broken off, he said.
Six of the nine, Ty Fing, Christine Hall, Joshua Lingwoodock, Jana Hall, Ashley Fing and Lynn Anderson, each pleaded guilty to manslaughter, burglary while armed and in company, and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company.
Each received sentences ranging from five years with probation to six and half years and all have since been released from prison on parole or probation.
Rhonda Hall, Rihanna Fing and Shiralee Fernando had been remanded to stand trial for murder but last week were offered manslaughter and associated charges to which they each pleaded guilty.
Each of three read letters of apology from the dock of the Toowoomba Supreme Court at their sentence hearing, each asking for forgiveness and saying sorry to Debbie Combarngo’s family.
Justice Peter Callaghan had high praise for Claudia Combarngo who had read out her own victim impact statement in which she called for peace between the families.
“You spoke beautifully of your mother and concluded with a truly noble thought expressed for all involved and that they can find peace for all and for the generations to come,” he said.
Justice Callaghan took into account Rhianna Fing had not taken part in any assault and sentenced her to five years in jail, to be suspended for five years after the 210 days she had spent in pre-sentence custody.
Fing was also placed on three years probation and ordered to complete 240 hours community service.
Rhonda Hall was sentenced to eight years and three months in jail with 991 days pre sentence custody declared as time served.
She will be eligible to apply for release on parole next month on February 6.
Shiralee Fernando was sentenced to nine years in jail with 991 days pre-sentence custody declared as time served and eligible to apply for parole as of May 6 this year, three years to the day of Debbie Combarngo’s death.
Originally published as The last three of the ‘Wilsonton Nine’ sentenced for death of Debbie Combarngo