I never met my mum’s killer
RENZY Libao never met the man who killed his mother - even though she'd been seeing him for months and had moved into his home.
He didn't know this man had once pushed a woman into oncoming traffic, punched and strangled her, menaced her with his car and bit her lip while forcing her to kiss him.
He didn't know he had stalked and harassed yet another woman, calling her 50 times a night when she was visiting friends, bashed her, pulled her hair, threatened to kill her and forced her to write a suicide note.
He didn't know this man had strangled his own mother into unconsciousness, beat his father and threatened to set fire to their house.
Renzy had no idea his mother was seeing a man who could be one of Queensland's worst domestic violence offenders, a man so terrifying she would jump out of a moving car to escape him, hitting the ground at more than 100km/h.
It was only after this, after Rinabel Tiglao Blackmore's devastated family made the decision to turn off her life support, that he learned who Shane Dickson was.
"Everything she did was for us," Renzy, who was in his early 20s when his mother died in 2015, said.
"But unfortunately, the sad thing is, you don't realise that until she's not here anymore."
Rinabel met Shane Dickson in 2014. He was a coal miner from Middlemount in Central Queensland, 200km northwest of Rockhampton.
Some time after the relationship began, Rinabel told her family she was leaving Brisbane and moving to Perth for work. But instead she went north to move in with Dickson.
The relationship was controlling and violent. Dickson did not want Rinabel to be close to her family. He didn't want her associating with anyone. If she was visiting friends, he would demand she take photographs of them and send them to him so he could be sure she wasn't cheating.
In 2014, she went home to Brisbane to spend Christmas with family. Dickson was furious that Rinabel was keeping their relationship a secret from her family. She hadn't wanted to explain the bruises he gave her.
After the trip, she travelled north to Bundaberg, meeting Dickson at a motel. Secretly, she had rented an apartment in Brisbane and moved two of her sons in. It was likely she was planning to move there too.
At the motel, they fought. He was sick of being her "dirty little secret", he told her.
He attacked her and she fled to the motel's reception, Dickson in pursuit.
"I want to break up babe," she told him.
"We can talk about it," he told her. The manager had emerged, catching the couple in a tug of war over Rinabel's handbag. "This lady doesn't have to hear everything," Dickson told her.
The manager thought the man seemed aggressive. Then, suddenly, Rinabel jumped the counter, positioning herself close to the manager.
"Can you call the police?" Rinabel whispered to the woman. She did. Dickson retreated outside to his car.
Dickson had choked her, Rinabel explained to the manager.
"I'm frightened for my life and don't want to be with him any longer," she said. "I'm frightened that if you don't get the police, he will kill me."
When police arrived, Dickson had gone. Officers found him nearby and told him they would be applying for a protection order. But they didn't investigate Rinabel's claims of being assaulted and they didn't interview the motel manager who'd called triple-0.
The next day, Rinabel was collected by a friend. She told the friend she wanted to leave Dickson but she needed to return to his home at Middlemount. She'd left her youngest son's passport there and wanted it back.
"I cried at that part," Renzy said. He only learned the details of his mother's final days through coronial findings published recently.
"She should have just left it all behind and started again. We would have all understood.
"Family is always the fail-safe. I just wish she'd known that at the time. She could have just come back home and she'd still be here today."
The friend drove her to Middlemount, urging Rinabel to call police for help in retrieving her possessions. But Rinabel convinced her friend she'd be fine, devising a plan in case things went wrong.
The friend was to wait at the home of their male friend nearby. If Rinabel called or texted to say the friend should "come and see the unit", she was to call the police.
That evening, Rinabel called to say all was fine and the friend could leave for Gladstone.
But things weren't fine. At the unit, Dickson had attacked Rinabel. He'd hit her, shaken her and choked her. He'd taken her phone and texted her male friends, posing as her to proposition them for sex in case she'd been cheating on him.
He called the friend who had driven Rinabel to Middlemount.
"Where are you now?" he'd demanded, while, in the background, Rinabel said the words: "you should really see the unit, you should really, really see the unit."
The friend, believing Rinabel was in danger, sent a message to the male friend who lived nearby in Middlemount, urging him to call police. Tragically, he did not see the message.
Dickson would later tell police he offered to drive Rinabel back to Brisbane. He would claim that they began arguing, when, inexplicably, she jumped out of the vehicle as it travelled at 100km/h.
"I was screaming, I screamed at her and the next minute she's going out the door and she's gone mate," he told police.
The fall left her with two broken ankles and massive head injuries. She lost consciousness soon after and never woke up.
Dickson was charged with murder on the basis Rinabel had been so terrified for her life, she'd jumped from the fast-moving car.
The charge was dropped when he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to seven and a half years jail and served three before being released last year.
Renzy likes to talk about what happened to his mother because he hopes her story might help someone else.
Her death forced him to take responsibility for his younger brothers and he left his job at the time to become a personal trainer. He likes to help clients with self-esteem and confidence in the hope it will help them develop healthy relationships.
"My path is now orientated towards that," he said.
"Even though sometimes I feel like I don't know how to do it. I've always wanted to help others. It's just really good to talk about this sort of stuff."