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Brian Earl Johnston To Be Sentenced For Dousing Ex-Wife In Petrol

Three years after the murder of Kelly Wilkinson, her estranged husband, Brian Earl Johnston, will be sentenced at the Brisbane Supreme Court today.

The former US marine was accused of allegedly dousing Wilkinson in fuel and setting her ablaze in a horrific domestic violence attack at their Gold Coast home on April 20, 2021. 

Kelly Wilkinson, a 27-year-old mother of three, tragically lost her life in the backyard of her Arundel home. 

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Despite the swift response by emergency services, Wilkinson succumbed to life-threatening burns sustained in the attack.

Johnston was allegedly found near the scene with severe burn injuries and was subsequently charged with murder. 

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to the charge of murder during an arraignment at the Brisbane Supreme Court, just weeks before a scheduled trial. 

This unexpected plea brought some closure to Wilkinson’s loved ones but left lingering questions about the motive behind the tragedy.

The sentencing proceedings are set to commence at 10 am before Justice Peter Applegarth. 

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Additionally, another individual, 25-year-old Bradley Bell, has also been charged with murder in connection to the case. 

Police allege that Bell drove Johnston to Wilkinson’s home and assisted in obtaining fuel for the attack. 

Bell’s legal proceedings remain ongoing.

More updates on this story will follow.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse or family violence contact:

  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
  • 24-hour Emergency Accommodation helpline on 1800 800 588
  • National Violence and Abuse Trauma Counselling and Recovery Service on 1800 FULLSTOP (1800 385 578). They also have a specific line for the LGBTIQA+ community called the Rainbow Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Helpline on 1800 497 212
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14

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