Gold Coast mother Maree Mavis Crabtree accused of murdering her two disabled children
“Controlling and manipulative” mother allegedly murdered her two disabled children to claim insurance benefits before abandoning her deceased teenage daughter to go on a cruise, court finds
- Maree Mavis Crabtree accused of murdering her two disabled adult children
- Police allege children died after being forced to take prescription drugs
- Erin, 18, died at the Gold Coast home in 2012 while Jonathan, 26, died in 2017
- Court heard Crabtree allegedly murdered his children for insurance payments
A Gold Coast mother accused of murdering her two disabled adult children for insurance payments was “very” in control of her son, a court said.
Maree Mavis Crabtree faces a slew of charges, including the murder of her daughter Erin, 18, in 2012, and her son Jonathan, 26, five years later.
Both siblings had disabilities, with police claiming they died from being forced to take prescription drugs.
Crabtree, 54, is also accused of attempting to murder Jonathan six months before his death, as well as grievous bodily harm and torture of a woman in her 20s.
Erin was found dead in their Maudsland home in September 2012, while Crabtree was on a cruise.
Gold Coast woman Maree Mavis Crabtree (pictured) is charged with the murder of her two disabled adult children over insurance payments
Jonathan was “very upset” by the death of his younger sister Erin, former rugby league coach Adam Flier told Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Mr Flier told the court Jonathan was lucky, but there was “still this underlying sadness” over Erin’s death.
Jonathan’s friend Cassandra Hopper told the court the older brother was “still pretty self-destructive” about Erin’s death.
“(He) was very upset about it and didn’t want to be alive because she was dead,” she said.
Jonathan also told him his mother wouldn’t let him find a job, Ms Hopper told court.
“He didn’t say why, he just said she was very controlling and he wasn’t able to live his own life,” she added.
Crabtree is charged with the murder of her daughter Erin (left), 18, in 2012, and her son Jonathan (right), 26, five years later
“He had to live by his rules.
Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend Katelyn Lofts told the court she believed Crabtree put something in a glass that made him feel groggy and fall asleep on three occasions.
She said she hadn’t confronted Crabtree “in case she denies it like she does with other things.”
“She tells a lot of lies,” Lofts added.
She told the court that Jonathan was violent towards her, throwing her against walls and hitting her during their relationship.
Crabtree once entered when Jonathan assaulted Ms Lofts, she said.
“He was actually suffocating me, holding me on the bed and not letting me go,” Lofts added.
She said Crabtree had done nothing but smile and laugh.
Crabtree is also accused of attempting to murder Jonathan six months before his death, as well as grievous bodily harm and torture of a woman in her twenties.
Ms Lofts told the court that she had separated from Jonathan on several occasions, but would come back to him because he threatened to kill himself.
Jonathan’s corpse was found in his Upper Coomera home in 2017, a few years after driving his car into a tree, the crash leaving him on life support and facing months of rehabilitation.
Ms Lofts told the court Jonathan told her he was “petrified” by Crabtree and drove up the tree because he wanted to kill himself.
Crabtree faces a jail hearing that is set for three weeks.
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