Two young women jailed for their role in the death of Jacob Bell have wept as the much-loved tradesman’s parents described their profound grief.
Two young women jailed for their role in the death of Jacob Bell have wept as the much-loved tradesman’s parents described their profound grief.

Women jailed for ‘callous’ killing of Jacob Bell

Two young women jailed for their "callous" role in the death of Jacob Bell have wept as his parents described the profound grief that has haunted them since their son was fatally shot.

Rhiannon Jaye Goodrich-Davey, 24, and Dianna Judith Barnes, 22, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and accessory after the fact to the murder of Jacob Bell who was shot in the chest inside a unit at Petrie, north of Brisbane, by Luke Cunningham, just after midnight on April 20, 2018.

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During an emotional sentence hearing in the Brisbane Supreme Court this morning, Mr Bell's parents told the court that the pair's "callous and cowardly" actions had taken away their much-loved son who was a champion football player and a state-level boxer.

Jacob Bell, 24, of Deception Bay, loved cooking, fishing and travelling.
Jacob Bell, 24, of Deception Bay, loved cooking, fishing and travelling.

"Jacob made our family complete. He was so loved and we miss his smile, his strength, his voice and his laughter," Jacob's mother Denise Akehurst said in her victim impact statement.

The court was told that Mr Bell, 24, was murdered by Cunningham, who took his life in prison in September 2018, after being accused of telling police about drugs found in a Bowen Hills unit that had been raided days earlier.

Prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge said Barnes had started a false rumour that Mr Ball had "dogged on her" to police which was the impetus for the tragic chain of events.

Luke Cunningham who fatally shot Mr Bell died in prison in September 2018.
Luke Cunningham who fatally shot Mr Bell died in prison in September 2018.

The court was told the pair then hatched a vague plan with Cunningham to confront Mr Bell over the rumour and lured him to the unit.

Ms Wooldridge said they either helped - or were at least aware - that Cunningham had grabbed a gun from a manhole of the unit while being "fried to the max" on ice, before texting Mr Bell to come over.

Cunningham then waited at the top of the staircase and shot Mr Bell within five seconds of his arrival.

Police scour the Perie unit where Mr Bell was shot. Picture: Albert Perez
Police scour the Perie unit where Mr Bell was shot. Picture: Albert Perez

Ms Wooldridge said after the shooting, Mr Bell was left to die while the group fled in a car and Goodrich-Davey yelled at them to get rid of the weapon.

The driver of the car, Kirstie Lee McNall was sentenced to five years' jail in October last year after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact of murder.

Barrister Malcolm Harrison said Barnes had left the scene because she was "extremely scared".

Mr Harrison said in the lead up to the shooting, she was talking up to 3.5g a day and was having delusions.

The court was told that both women had extremely prejudicial upbringings and had battled mental illness and substance abuse as a result.

Justice Peter Applegarth said neither Barnes nor Goodrich-Davey had stopped the plan and their actions had ultimately led to Mr Bell's tragic death.

Jacob Bell was remembered by his family as a good worker who had dreams of becoming a chef on the Sunshine Coast.
Jacob Bell was remembered by his family as a good worker who had dreams of becoming a chef on the Sunshine Coast.

"It's a stark, simple, tragic fact that a life has been lost because of your criminality," Justice Applegarth said.

"It's really as simple as that."

Goodrich-Davey was sentenced to 9 years' jail and after time served, she will be eligible for parole in November next year.

Barnes was sentenced to 11 years' jail because she had also been caught and pleaded guilty to possessing 56g of ice, ammunition and cash in the days before the shooting.

She will be eligible for parole on October 21, 2022.

Originally published as Women jailed for 'callous' killing of Jacob Bell



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