News

Suspect admits killing Dulcie Birt

Dulcie Birt
Dulcie Birt Contributed

WHAT happened to an Ipswich mother the night she went missing more than three years ago will likely remain a mystery.

But her tragic story will cycle on as another generation is forced permanently into the foster care system like she was.

Dulcie Birt was raised in care, had her first son as a teenager and had intermittent drug problems throughout her 31 years.

She left behind three sons when she got into a car with Alwyn John Gwilliams, 43, on October 21, 2009.

Ms Birt had known Gwilliams for about 15 years. She became his mistress a few months before her death.

Gwilliams pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday to her manslaughter and later interfering with her body.

Justice John Byrne will sentence Gwilliams on a date to be fixed, likely between eight and 11 years.

Gwilliams claims Ms Birt snapped her neck when he crashed while drink-driving in bushland near Riverview, and that he tried to resuscitate her.

Gwilliams, a man with a violent criminal history from a family with no faith in police, claims he decided to dump her body at Jacobs Well because police would never believe she had died in an accident.

Crown prosecutor Vicki Lowry said Ms Birt's body had never been found and her true cause of death might never be known.

She said the Crown had accepted the manslaughter plea, but did not accept the version Gwilliams put forward.

Ms Lowry told the court police found no sign of a crash in the bushland and no forensic evidence suggesting Ms Birt died during a crash in Gwilliams's ute.

She said Gwilliams told his mother he had killed Ms Birt questioned why he told another family member he needed to burn his car if there was not a more sinister explanation for her disappearance.

Ms Lowry said Gwilliams had repeatedly lied during the police investigation and it was more likely Ms Birt died from an assault and her body was buried.

She said police had drained a nearby lake and searched other waterways but all efforts to find her body had failed.

"He is a man who resorts to violence from time to time," she said.

"He had nothing to fear from going to the police if this was indeed a traffic accident.

"There would have been evidence, a body of evidence, that supported that account."

When Gwilliams killed Ms Birt, he had not long finished a lengthy jail sentence for a "savage and brutal" assault on a different woman he was in a relationship with.

He took her to a quarry at night, ripped her dress from her body and beat her. He hit, kicked and threatened to kill her.

Gwilliams had two other assault convictions on his criminal history too.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said his client was well-known to police and had an unenviable reputation.

He said "distinct, clear and rational thought" could not be attributed to a man in his position.

Mr Lewis said his client admitted he had lied throughout the police investigation but maintained his final version was the truth.

He said if an assault did occur then "it could be as simple as pushing her over and hitting her head".

Mr Lewis said they would never know but his client should get the benefit of the doubt in case it was not something more sinister.

Topics:  dulcie birt manslaughter murder accused



Doctor's pregnancy comments cause outrage

South-west health directer doctor Chris Buck.

A DARLING Downs doctor has come under fire for a Facebook post

Council shake-up: New deputy mayor announced

Mayor Cr Greg Christensen and new Deputy Mayor Cr Nadia O'Carroll.

THE Scenic Rim has elected a new deputy mayor

19 dead, reports of nail bomb at Ariana Grande concert

Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017.

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Local Partners

Show legend returns to post after being run over by float

FOR absolute total dedication to the Ipswich Show look no further than 85-year-old Kalbar farmer Syd Haag.


Paddinton Bear is coming to Ipswich

IN TOWN: Annette Kitching plays the part of Paddington Bear in The Cute Little Bear From Peru at the Incinerator Theatre.

FAVOURITE children's character set to delight in new show

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

IPSWICH SHOW: What's on at the showgrounds today

Ipswich Show 2017. Sasha Bondzulic and Kirra Peel.

THE show fun continues today with plenty of rides, games and stunts

Ariana 'in hysterics' after blast

THE entertainment industry is reeling today after news of a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that’s killed 19 people.

19 dead, reports of nail bomb at Ariana Grande concert

Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017.

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

The Voice is just the beginning for Ipswich dad

Arthur Bristowe performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

Arthur Bristowe performs John Legend hit in knockout round.

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!