The Courier-Mail


Accused killer grandfathe­r told friends ‘my family is the only reason I’ve got to live’


A LITTLE boy killed in what police suspect was a murdersuic­ide was found by his aunty still tucked into bed.

Detectives believe Derek John Sharpley murdered his seven-year-old grandson Jackson (pictured) and the boy’s pregnant mother KrisDeann in their home near Toowoomba on Sunday.

Their bodies were found a day later when Kris-Deann’s sister Tara went to the house with her boyfriend Allan Brown to collect clothing.

“She was screaming, ‘they’ve been murdered, they’ve been murdered’,” Mr Brown said. “It was something I will never forget.”

Sharpley was found in the same bedroom as Jackson, who neighbour Paul Farmer described as “a loveable little rascal”.

Mr Brown’s mother Doreen Field last saw Jackson about a week ago when the family had visited for dinner.

“He was running around, happy to see us,” she said.

Neighbours heard three gunshots about 10.30pm on Sunday night but did not think much of it.

“Most people in the village have guns for snakes, shooting sick cattle – you do hear shots,” Mr Farmer said.

A GRANDFATHE­R suspected of callously killing his pregnant daughter and sevenyear-old grandson had only weeks earlier told friends he “lived for his family”.

Detectives believe Derek John Sharpley, 52, killed his pregnant daughter KrisDeann, 27, and his grandson Jackson, 7, before he turned a gun on himself on Sunday night.

Sharpley and his daughter were found with close-range rifle injuries to the head a day later, by Kris-Deann’s sister Tara.

Jackson was found lifeless, tucked in to a bed in the home, with no visible injuries.

Tara, who is also pregnant, had gone to the house with boyfriend Allan Brown on Monday to collect clothing.

Mr Brown told The Cour- ier-Mail she climbed through a window after they could not get inside. She then screamed out to him.

“She was screaming ‘they’ve been murdered, they’ve been murdered’,” Mr Brown said.

When he went inside he saw the bodies. “The gun was lying on the bed, I was stepping on the bullets on the way in,” Mr Brown said.

“I didn’t know if they were alive or not. So I went across the road and rang emergency and they said go and do CPR but it was way too late.

“It was something I will never forget.”

Some family members were yesterday adamant Sharpley would not harm his family, despite having a mental illness and a long history with police.

Mr Brown’s mother Doreen Field, 68, said they invited Sharpley and Jackson to their house for dinner about a week ago. “He (Jackson) was running around and happy to see us,” she said.

“He (Derek) said ‘Doreen, my family is all I’ve got to live for’. Everyone was happy. It was a good day.”

Ms Field said Sharpley had previously attempted suicide but his health had improved.

“There is no way that man could have killed that little boy. He said ‘I love them, I love them’,” she said.

“He had just recovered

from medical (issues). He was getting better, it was the first time he opened up last week.”

Neighbours heard gunshots on Sunday night but originally believed they were related to animals.

Family members said KrisDeann had spent time caring for her dad after her mother Elizabeth died in 2011 in bed next to her husband.

She left her life in Toowoomba and moved back in with her father to support him.

Detective Inspector David Isherwood said police were conducting investigat­ions to see if anyone else was involved in the deaths but, “at this stage, it does not look like that is the case”.

Cousin Joe Sharpley said he remembered Derek as “a good fellow”, who looked after his children.

He said he last saw his relatives a couple of years ago at the funeral for Mr Sharpley’s wife, Elizabeth.

“We’ve all been pretty quiet towards each other for a few years,” he said. “Krissy was a good girl.’’ Police remained at the house yesterday after Sharpley and the child were found in a bedroom while Kris-Deann was found in the bathroom on Monday.

Det-Insp Isherwood said there was no known motive.

However The Courier-Mail has been told Sharpley was known to police for his sub- stance abuse and had mental health problems.

Det-Insp Isherwoood said two neighbours heard three gunshots on Sunday about 10.30pm but there was nothing to suggest there was any incident leading up to the deaths.

One of the shot was fired into the cornice of the bedroom.

He said police were still conducting investigat­ions in relation to the firearm that was found in the bedroom.

The Courier-Mail understand­s Sharpley was unlicensed.

Biddeston store owner Paul Farmer, whose shop is across from the house, said “most people in the village have got guns for snakes, shooting sick cattle, you do hear shots”.

Mr Farmer said the boy was “a loveable little rascal”.



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 ??  ?? IN SHOCK: Grieving friends and family visited the scene where Derek Sharpley is believed to have killed daughter Kris-Deann Sharpley and grandson Jackson.
IN SHOCK: Grieving friends and family visited the scene where Derek Sharpley is believed to have killed daughter Kris-Deann Sharpley and grandson Jackson.

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