Heartbroken family and friends have paid their respects to a pregnant couple struck and killed by an allegedly stolen vehicle in Brisbane last month.
- The memorial service was held at Iona College where Matthew Field went to school
- The families of Mr Field and Kate Leadbetter thanked the public for “honouring their memories”
- An online petition for youth justice reform has nearly 200,000 signatures
Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter were walking their dogs across a major intersection at Alexandra Hills when they were mowed down in the Australia Day crash.
Ms Leadbetter was six months’ pregnant when the tragedy occurred, resulting in their unborn son Miles also dying in the accident.
Photos released by Queensland police showed Monday’s private ceremony at Iona College in Lindum where Mr Field went to school.
The couple’s dogs, one of which was injured in the crash, was at the service.
‘Words cannot express our gratitude’
“Our families would like to thank everyone who joined us to say goodbye and extend our sincerest thanks to the wider community for the support and compassion it has shown us,” the family said in a statement provided by police.
Both families thanked authorities for their efforts in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“To the first responders and police who looked after Matt, Kate and Miles and who have supported our families throughout this difficult time — words cannot express the depth of our gratitude for the way you have cared for each and every one of us,” they said.
“We are incredibly grateful for everything you have done.”
The families also thanked the staff at Iona College for going to “great lengths” to help them farewell the trio.
“It was their wonderful assistance which allowed us to remain COVID compliant today, through the use of their school halls and livestreaming capacity to ensure we met all guidelines,” the family said.
Hundreds of family and friends gathered at the scene of the crash a day after the incident for a vigil to remember the couple.
Among the crowd were Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll who also paid their respects.
Relatives of Ms Leadbetter and Mr Field praised the “kindness” of the Alexandra Hills community during the candlelight vigil.
Petition for youth justice reform gains traction
The couple’s death has sparked community outrage and criticism that the state’s bail laws under the youth justice act are too lenient.
A petition demanding reform of Queensland’s youth justice act set up by Citizens Against Road Slaughter is quickly gaining support with nearly 200,000 signatures.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was open to tightening the bail laws and had demanded answers about what went wrong in this case.
Queensland’s Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has called on the State Government to reintroduce breach of bail as a criminal offence for young people when Parliament returns this month.
The comments came after a death in Townsville at the weekend involving a stolen car.
The 17-year-old Waterford West teenager police say was driving the allegedly stolen vehicle that killed Ms Leadbetter and Mr Field has been remanded in custody on several charges including two counts of murder and allegedly being under an intoxicating influence.
There has so far been no decision announced on a third murder charge in relation to the couple’s unborn child.
The teenager’s case was adjourned until the end of March.
Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and seeing this news update involving current Queensland News called “Family and friends farewell pregnant couple Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter in private memorial”. This news release was posted by My Local Pages as part of our national news services.
#Family #friends #farewell #pregnant #couple #Matthew #Field #Kate #Leadbetter #private #memorial