More arrests possible in grandmother’s fatal stabbing

Five teenagers charged over Vyleen White's murder

Police say they won’t rule out further arrests in the case of a 70-year-old woman stabbed to death outside a Queensland shopping centre, as a teenager appears in court.

The 16-year-old boy charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of grandmother Vyleen White in front of her granddaughter appeared in Ipswich Children’s Court on Tuesday.

Under Queensland law, journalists are barred from the courtroom for cases involving minors. Applications for media to be present in the courtroom on Tuesday were refused.

The 16-year-old from Bellbird Park has been charged with White’s murder, as well as unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing.

Five teenagers have so far been charged after the deadly stabbing that has shocked the Redbank Plains community.

Two more 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old were charged on Monday with unlawful use of a motor vehicle. They were also due in court on Tuesday.

Another 15-year-old had already been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and faced an Ipswich court on Monday.

Police described the deadly incident as a “callous, cowardly, violent crime” on a loving family woman.

White was shopping on Saturday with her six-year-old granddaughter at Town Square Redbank Plains shopping centre, west of Brisbane, when she was stabbed in the chest in the centre’s car park.

She died at the scene a short time later. The little girl was unharmed.

Police believe the motive for the stabbing was to steal White’s vehicle, a Hyundai Getz.

Detective Acting Inspector Heath McQueen said some of the boys were brought into police by their parents.

“They condemn the behaviour and what’s occurred here,” he said.

“Senior police from Ipswich district met with senior members from the African community last night – they condemn what’s occurred here.

“We understand the community sentiment from all sides … Now is the time for us to support Vyleen’s family through these terrible circumstances.”

McQueen said police could not rule out further arrests as inquiries continued and “extensive” evidence was uncovered.

“Any incidents occurred at that shopping centre prior to and after the offence will form part of our investigation and some of those matters will be part of the offence before the court,” he said on Tuesday.

“Whilst we have commenced proceedings against five persons so far, I won’t rule out further persons being charged in relation to this matter.”

Police have described the fatal stabbing as a “callous, cowardly, violent crime” on a loving, family woman.

White’s family have spoken of their devastation at her death.

“When this particular animal stabbed my wife, he stabbed four of us in the heart,” her husband Victor told the Nine Network on Monday.

“He didn’t just kill her, he killed four of us with her.

“Justice has to be done, not for my sake, for the memory of Vyleen.”

Daughter Cindy Micallef said her mother would have gladly given up her car.

“She would have said ‘here’s the keys’. She would have said ‘I don’t care, take it’, as long as we are safe,” she said.

“She would have prayed for the offenders.”

Floral tributes for White have been left at the shopping centre while supporters have organised a GoFundMe page.

It had raised more than $18,000 for White’s family by Tuesday afternoon.

-with AAP

Topics: Queensland
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