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Tara Brown's killer writes shocking letter to family

NowToLove logo NowToLove 28/02/2017 Candice Mehta-Culjak
© Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Former Bandido bikie Lionel Patea has penned a shocking letter to the family of his late partner Tara Brown, who he bludgeoned to death with a metal fire hydrant cover.

The letter was prepared for the 25-year-old's first day of an eight-day long trial but was released to the media by Justice Debra Mullins after he unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty, according the the NZ Herald.

The handwritten letter explained that Patea would take his actions back "in a heartbeat" if he could.

Murder victim Tara Brown during happier times. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Murder victim Tara Brown during happier times. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram.

"There are no words that can possibly describe how remorseful I am for the events leading up to and on September the 8th of 2015. Nothing I can say can bring Tara back. Nothing I can do can get her returning home to us. If there was I would do it in a heartbeat,” he said.

"The question that haunts us all - how such a tragedy like this could ever have even happened? Unfortunately I don't have the answers and can't clarify it for myself either."

"I hoped today in court gives everyone personally involved some sort of closure. Tara was everything to me. Those of you that were close to her, those of you that were close to us all know how my sun rose and set for her.”

“She was my everything - still is. Tara was a dream catch, that one-in-a-million girl. Beautiful, gentle, warm, kind hearted and loving. My own angel on earth - that is how she will always be remembered by me.”

Tara is seen here with her daughter, Aria. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram. © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd Tara is seen here with her daughter, Aria. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram.

Murder victim Tara Brown during happier times. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram.

Brown, 24, dropped the daughter she shared with the former bikie off at daycare before the attack took place. Speaking of the child, Aria, Patea explained that he dreads the day he will have to explain the details surrounding her mother’s death. 

“Life is jail is only part one of my sentence. Living out our days without Tara is part two. The hardest sentence of all? One day I am going to have to explain to my daughter what happened to mummy. As (she) grows old I expect her features and her demeanour will be constant reminders of how beautiful her mother was, the likeness in her being so familiar - like mother, like daughter.”

"I will endeavour to rehabilitate whilst in custody. Maybe one day I can help prevent another occurrence like this from every happening again. I pray that Tara's legacy thrives and lives on in (my daughter)."

Tara is seen here with her daughter, Aria. Image via Tara Brown / Instagram.

Brown's mother Natalie Hinton told to the court that she hadn’t read Patea's three-page letter and that she and her family do not have any intention to.

Lionel Patea was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his partner on Monday, February 27.

Patea ran Brown off a Gold Coast road in September 2015 before bludgeoning her to death with a metal fire hydrant cover.

He used the slab, weighing 7.8kg, to repeatedly bash her head, causing "non-survivable" brain injuries.

Witnesses at first thought he was trying to rescue the young mum and helped him to reach her before he began to smash her skull. After releasing their mistake, they unsuccessfully tried to stop the attack.

Disturbingly, Tara had managed to call emergency services before she was run off the road. Operators were left helpless to do anything as she was brutally bashed.

The court was told sixteen thumping sounds could be heard and then another 13 more as he smashed her with a the slab of metal.

Tara’s mother has previously labelled Patea as a “monster” and a “misogynistic narcissist.”

Heartbreakingly, she has also revealed Aria now kisses a picture of her mum on her pillow every night before bed.

Patea had been expected to stand trial for one week in the Brisbane Supreme Court, before unexpectedly pleading guilty to Brown’s murder.

He has been sentenced to life in prison.

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