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(BRISBANE) Coroners Court Report: The key witness at an inquest into the 1986 disappearance of Brisbane woman Sharron Phillips has been accused of inventing details of his story to fit a podcast he co-produced #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.24: Giving evidence on the final day, Mr Seeley broke down as he described his inability to stop the actions of his father, a “mass murderer” who referred to himself as “the gingerbread man”

Sharron Phillips inquest hears taxi driver’s son invented story to fit podcast about ‘killer’ father “ Ian Seeley’s account to police that his taxi driver father Raymond Peter Mulvihill killed Ms Phillips triggered a new inquest into the cold case”

Mr Seeley told the Queensland Coroner’s Court in Brisbane his father made him promise on his deathbed to tell police about “more than 10” young women he raped and murdered, including Ms Phillips.

Sharron Phillips was last seen at night at a telephone booth after her car ran out of fuel in Wacol in Brisbane's south in 1986.
Sharron Phillips was last seen late at night at a telephone booth in Wacol in 1986.(ABC News)

Posted 18m ago

Ms Phillips disappeared aged 20 after her car ran out of fuel at Wacol.

Mr Seeley’s account to police has varied in detail since he came forward in 2016.

Matt Jackson, a lawyer for Phillips’s surviving sister Donna Anderson, asked Mr Seeley if he was making up details “to fit your story” as time went on.

Sharron's sister Donna Anderson 
Ms Phillips’s sister Donna Anderson has fought for years to find out what happened to her.(ABC News)

He said Mr Seeley gave “significant new evidence” on Wednesday, including that his father stabbed him when confronted about Ms Phillips’s abduction, and that traffic police were nearby when Mr Mulvihill slammed a boot shut and cried out, “Get in the f***ing boot or I’ll kill you”.

“I put it to you your version today is utterly unbelievable and you’re making it up to fit your podcast’s ‘evil gingerbread man’ theory,” Mr Jackson said.

“Your evidence today has been made up to fit your story in your podcast.”

Mr Seeley replied: “Yeah, everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”

Mr Seeley said police had checked out his story and he asked: “How have we got this far from me bullshitting?”

“The story fits, mate.”

Police told the inquest they initially found Mr Seeley’s information was “specific and credible”.

They dug up a drain at Carole Park but found no evidence of human remains.

Large hole partially filled with water next to a drain
Ian Seeley told the inquest that his father referred to a drain at Carole Park.(Fairfax Media: Tony Moore)

Under further questioning on Wednesday, Mr Seeley said he had been previously diagnosed with mental health issues by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

“They thought I had grandiose [disorder] and I thought my wife was doing things I couldn’t prove,” he said.

A lawyer representing Queensland police asked if Mr Seeley’s embellishment of details was “an attempt by you to disguise your involvement in the death of Sharron Phillips”.

Mr Seeley denied that suggestion.

‘I gave up. I surrendered’

On Monday, Mr Seeley’s aunt Allison Clancy told the inquest Mr Mulvihill once raped and threatened her, and in 1992 confessed to her that he raped and beat Ms Phillips unconscious — but she said Mr Mulvihill said Mr Seeley then killed her and dumped her body.

Mr Seeley said his aunt’s claim that Mr Mulvihill had told her Mr Seeley was the killer was “bizarre” and he rejected the allegation.

Mr Seeley earlier told the inquest his father had manipulated him into using his car to transport the woman’s body after his father lured her into his taxi at Wacol.

He said he believed Mr Mulvihill shifted her unconscious body into his boot and later “strangled” her and dumped her body in a drain at Carole Park.

Police sift through dirt dug up at a site at Carole Park searching for the remains of Sharron Phillips
In 2016, police searched a site at Carole Park for Ms Phillips’s body.(ABC News: Andrew Kos)

Mr Seeley said he heard Mr Mulvihill slam the boot of his car and cry out, “Get the f*** in there or I’ll kill you,” within earshot of traffic police who were talking to Mr Seeley on Station Road 20 metres away.

He said he first thought his father had been “stealing something” but suspected it was a person after he heard “thumping in the boot”.

Mr Seeley said he confronted his father, who threatened him with a knife and later cut him under the chin before commandeering his HK Holden to dump the body.

He said Mr Mulvihill told him, “I’ll kill you,” but it was “not my plan to bury two people tonight”.

“I gave up. I surrendered. I was a f***ing coward,” Mr Seeley said.

He broke down as he described being unable to stop a “mass murderer”.

“I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy, but it was just f*****. What do you do?

“A mass murderer … how the f*** do I stop this?

He said Mr Mulvihill laughed at him days later when he confronted him with a newspaper article about Ms Phillips’s disappearance.

“I said, … ‘Was this the chick in the boot?'”

“He laughed. He thought it was funny.”

He said, despite Mr Mulvihill being fearful of his son reporting him to police over the years, he told him: “You can say what you like, mate, but you won’t get me. I’m the gingerbread man.”

Mr Seeley said his father confided that he “didn’t bury her that night”.

“He said, ‘There’s a drain in Carole Park.'”

Mr Seeley said his father indicated he stored the body at first in a car body in a dumping ground at the end of Sinclair Drive.

He said his father had arrived home after burying her with a split forehead and blood on his face.

Mr Seeley said he told him that Ms Phillips had struck him with a tyre iron from the boot and nearly got away.

He admitted he had not told police about that before Wednesday.

Sharron Phillips, holding her younger brother Matthew, date unknown
 An inquest two years after Ms Phillips’s disappearance found she was probably murdered.(Supplied: Donna Anderson)

Changing story

On Tuesday, retired homicide detective Bob Dallow, who headed the Phillips investigation from 1986 to 1988, told the inquest that Mr Seeley had changed his story since they first spoke in 2016.

He said Mr Seeley originally told him he had helped Mr Mulvihill move Ms Phillips’s body from the taxi to the boot of his car and saw “blood on her head”.

Mr Seeley said he drove them home and got out of the car and his father drove off with the body, he said.

Mr Dallow later agreed with police to record another phone call with Mr Seeley, in which Mr Seeley denied helping move the body.

“I said, ‘Mate, that’s what you told me.’

“‘Yeah, OK, I must have been wrong,'” Mr Seeley replied, according to Mr Dallow.

Businessman Graeme Brown, who came to know Mr Mulvihill as a driver of his taxis, said he witnessed a “heated conversation” between Mr Mulvihill and Mr Seeley in 1987.

He said he recalled Mr Seeley referring to “that girl you had in the boot” and a possible reference to items such as shoes and a handbag.

20yo Sharron Phillips vanished from the side of Ipswich Road at Wacol in May 1986 after running out of petrol. Body never found.
This week the Coroner’s Court heard new information about her disappearance.(ABC News)

‘Ian is a good storyteller’

Mr Seeley’s sister Shelley Robb told the inquest on Tuesday she believed her brother had fabricated his entire account of events.

“I don’t believe it at all.”

She said her brother had first told her about their father’s alleged role in Ms Phillips’s disappearance when they ran into each other at a shopping centre, years after Mr Mulvihill died of cancer in 2002.

Ms Robb said Mr Seeley had told her he picked up their father at the shop where he left the taxi after his shift ended.

“He said he was driving and heard a bump [in the car] and Dad pulled a knife and said, ‘Keep driving,'” she said.

“I’m just worried about his mental health and why he’s saying all this stuff.

“Ian is a good storyteller and he likes telling stories and being [the centre of] attention … and that’s my concern.

“I’d never heard anything about this at all and all of a sudden he’s putting this on me at a shopping centre — why?”

She said her father had been physically abusive to his wife and children, but she remembered him as a “great dad”.

Ms Robb said her aunt Ms Clancy had stolen money at a family gathering and she considered her “a liar”.

The inquest continues. The coroner will deliver her report at a later date.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.24: 2021:

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