Joondalup courthouse stabbing: victim Sarah Thomas’s family “overwhelmed” by support

Sarah Thomas with her two children. Picture: Go Fund Me
Sarah Thomas with her two children. Picture: Go Fund Me

THE impact of the Joondalup courthouse death of mother-of-two Sarah Thomas has been emphasised by an outpouring of community charity to help her young children.

Ms Thomas (33) was killed during a mediation session with her former partner Paul Gary Turner (40), who is accused of taking a knife to the Joondalup Justice Complex and stabbing her on December 20.

Her family setup a Go Fund Me page to raise $10,000 for funeral costs, with “any extra leftover” to go to her son and daughter.

It soon became evident there would be plenty left over for the brother and sister, both aged under 10, with the community donating nearly $30,000 within a week.

Last Thursday the page had raised more than $29,000 and the total was expected to continue growing.

Ms Thomas’ mother Juliann Thomas said everything her daughter did was for her children.

She expressed the family’s gratitude for the donations, particularly given the financial pressures of Christmas.

“The generosity, love and support that you all have shown us, especially at this time of year when we know money can be tight, is overwhelming,” she posted on the fundraising page.

The death prompted concerns from WA Police Union head George Tilbury, who questioned the lack of security measures such as metal detectors.

He also questioned courthouse protocol that left officers unarmed when they detained the alleged offender.

A spokeswoman confirmed a review of court security was underway, with Attorney General Michael Mischin expecting to receive a report by the end of January.

Mr Tilbury said he was unimpressed with the Attorney General’s response.

“Following the incident, I spoke with the Attorney General to ensure he was fully aware of our stance and that immediate action was required to prevent further tragedies,” he said.

“Unfortunately, he has elected to undertake a review rather than taking the bull by the horns and installing metal detectors at all metropolitan court complexes, along with the necessary budget allocation so they are appropriately staffed.

“I also raised this matter with the Chief Justice and he agrees that all persons entering court complexes should walk through metal detectors.”

On the day he announced the review, Mr Mischin said he was reluctant to turn courthouses into fortresses.

He said by his understanding there was no indication in the lead up to the incident that the alleged offender could be a security risk.

The accused, of Quinns Rocks, remains in custody and is due to appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates on one count of murder on January 11.