Warning: Graphic content

CHILLING footage capturing the moments before Tara Brown's brutal murder has been released.

The video taken on CCTV from a home in Molendinar in the Gold Coast, showed her killer - estranged partner Lionel Patea - going after her.

Patea, a former Bandidos bikie, ran the 24-year-old woman off the road on September 8 2015 and bashed her to death with a 7.8kg metal fire hydrant cover while she lay helpless in the overturned vehicle.

On the footage obtained by Nine News, Patea is seen grabbing the fire hydrant cover as he runs towards her car.

A neighbour was unknowingly capturing the moments before the murder on CCTV and resident Lisa Kennedy is seen running down her driveway to try and help Ms Brown.

A neighbour runs down her driveway to help Tara Brown. Picture: Channel 9
A neighbour runs down her driveway to help Tara Brown. Picture: Channel 9

"I was screaming obscenities at him, screaming for help to try and stop him," Ms Kennedy told Nine News.

Neighbours who heard the crash and saw Mr Patea at Ms Brown's overturned car thought he was there to free her and some helped him break one of the car windows.

The fire hydrant cover used to bludgeon Tara Brown. Picture: Channel 9
The fire hydrant cover used to bludgeon Tara Brown. Picture: Channel 9

Nine News reports it was only when they heard Ms Brown's cries did they become aware Patea was trying to harm her. He fought off the neighbours who tried to stop him.

Tara Brown
Tara Brown

Patea, 25, was sentenced to life for the murder of his estranged partner after pleading guilty on the first day of his trial.

His lawyer said Patea knew he would never be forgiven and did not want to cause more pain to her family.

Patea wrote a letter to Ms Brown's mother, Natalie Hinton, to express his remorse but she said he was a "monster" and vowed to never read the "worthless" letter.

"His apology to Tara. It's worth nothing now that she's gone," Ms Hinton told Nine News.

In a bizarre letter intended for Ms Brown's family, Patea said he was remorseful and would bring her back if he could.

But he also pondered about how "such a tragedy" could occur.

"The question that haunts us all (is) how such a tragedy like this could ever have happened," he wrote in the letter, tendered in court by his defence team.

He said he didn't have the answers and "can't clarify it for myself either".

Lionel Patea has been jailed for life for killing Tara Brown.
Lionel Patea has been jailed for life for killing Tara Brown.

But Ms Hinton said nothing Patea could say could excuse the explosion of violence that robbed Ms Brown's daughter of a mother, and left the child with a father serving 20 years in jail for the killing.

"There is not a day go by that she doesn't ask for Tara. We started with 'I miss mummy. I want mummy'. Then we moved to 'I want to see mummy'. And then just the other week, she asked me if she was going to get a new mummy. Just like her mummy," Ms Hinton said.

Ms Brown had taken out a domestic violence order against Patea just days before he rammed her off a suburban Gold Coast road in September 2015.

Ms Hinton said her daughter had told police she was afraid for her life when she went to them for help in the days before she died.

Lionel Patea pleaded guilty to the murder of Tara Brown. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
Lionel Patea pleaded guilty to the murder of Tara Brown. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

But she says police responded by asking why she hadn't sought help earlier, as her fears ramped up.

"Lionel Patea had a record as long as our arms. He was known, his violent behaviour. He was known as a Bandidos bikie and Tara was scared. She was hoping the police would put in place the domestic violence order," Ms Hinton said.

But she urged women violent domestic situations not to be deterred from seeking help.

"Just gather your strength. Find your support. Whether it be a family member, a friend, a doctor, a teacher. There is help out there. And that help can keep you safe," Ms Hinton said.

If you or somebody you know is suffering from domestic violence call the National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800 RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.


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