Tiahleigh Palmer’s killer Rick Thorburn rushed to hospital


Rick Thorburn, the man convicted with killing 12-year-old schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer, has been rushed to hospital after he was found unresponsive in his cell following a reported suicide attempt.

Ambulance Queensland confirmed an inmate was transported from Wolston Correctional Centre to Princes Alexandra Hospital on Thursday morning.

A Queensland Corrective Services spokesperson confirmed a 63-year-old prisoner was found unresponsive in his cell on Thursday morning, however he was quickly stabilised by nurses.

“The 63-year-old man was stabilised and transported by QAS to hospital. The matter will be subject to standard internal investigation.”

This is Thorburn’s third suicide attempt after he was jailed for killing Tiahleigh, his foster child, in 2018. The murder was prompted by his discover that his 19-year-old son, Trent Thorburn, had had sex with her, and could have gotten her pregnant.

In November 2015, Tiahleigh’s body was discovered on the banks of the Pimpama River on the Gold Coast after she had been reported missing for several days.

Thorburn is currently serving a life sentence, and will not be eligible for parole until September 2036.

The longtime inmate also attempted suicide in 2022 and 2016, shortly after his arrest, which led to him being placed on suicide watch for months after.

An inquest into Tiahleigh’s death finally ruled the schoolgirl had been deliberately killed by her foster father, however they couldn’t conclusively determine the cause of her death.

Handing down her findings, Deputy State Coroner Jane Bentley found Thorburn had “no remorse” for his actions.

“The most probable reason that Mr Thorburn killed Tiahleigh was the reason that he gave to his family – he killed her to cover up the fact that Trent had been abusing her and in an effort to protect Trent from being convicted of incest and imprisoned,” she said.

“I find that Mr Thorburn is completely without remorse … It is clear that he perceives himself as being unfairly dealt with and victimised by the media and public opinion, as does Ms Thorburn.”

More to come