STOLEN: The tribute to Brandon Matthews.
STOLEN: The tribute to Brandon Matthews.

Mother pleads: Return my boy's tribute

THE devastated mother of a teenager stabbed to death in an Ipswich street has begged for the cross placed near where he died to be returned.

Brad Girling, 22, of North Ipswich and Brandon Matthews, 18, of Gladstone were stabbed in Hill St, North Ipswich, in the early hours of January 8.

Luke Michael Jackson, 18, and Zachary Michael Maloney, 22, were charged with their murder.

For mother Paula Matthews, having a memorial to her son defaced is a double blow on top of his tragic death.

"It's gut wrenching. I don't understand how somebody can be so heartless," she said.

"It's where he took his last breath ...we put it up there out of respect for him."

There are tributes to Brandon all over her home in Gladstone.

A little plush teddy that reads "miss you" on its chest is propped next to the gold urn that holds Brandon's ashes.

Next to it is a photo of Paula lovingly cradling her baby son in her arms.

"He was my bear," Mrs Matthews said.

Mrs Matthews takes Brandon everywhere she goes: He's tattooed on her right arm.

The dreadful sadness wrought by Brandon's death is more than any family should have to deal with. But around 6pm last Saturday the memorial near where he died was defaced.

A close friend had crafted a steel cross, which was bolted on to a power pole next to where Brandon died. It read "RIP BJ BEAR BRANDON 09-09-93-08-01-12".

It has disappeared and to make matters worse all the flowers surrounding it were ripped off and thrown on the ground.

Mrs Matthews is shocked and distressed. She has a simple request: return her boy's cross because its disappearance has really hit her hard.

"It's like they've taken a part of me again. I just can't seem to pick myself up again," she said.

She asked that whoever has the cross to return it to their nearest police station.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to crimestoppers.com.au.



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