Jesse Leigh Green charged with murder of Teah Luckwell in Tamworth, formally refused bail in court

Tributes flow: Teah Rose Luckwell, 22, was murdered in her Robert Street unit in Tamworth on March 28. Photo: Supplied
Tributes flow: Teah Rose Luckwell, 22, was murdered in her Robert Street unit in Tamworth on March 28. Photo: Supplied

THE man accused of murdering Tamworth mother Teah Luckwell allegedly broke into another home and held a knife towards a second woman in the hours before and after the killing.

Jesse Leigh Green is accused of murdering the mother-of-one in her Robert Street unit between 4am and 4.30am on March 28 – 17 hours before her body and her unharmed 13-month-old daughter were found by a neighbour.

Green, who The Leader revealed was arrested and charged with murder on Tuesday, did not appear in Tamworth Local Court when his case was mentioned on Wednesday morning. He’s facing seven charges in total including the fresh count of murder.

According to court documents, Green is accused of breaking into an Ernst Street house in Oxley Vale between 8 and 11pm on March 27 and stealing from the house, knowing there were people inside at the time.

He’s also accused of unlawfully obtaining goods, namely a Samsung phone and black iPhone, at Oxley Vale at the same time. Police allege the goods were stolen and Green had them at his premises in Calala.

Detectives will allege Green also had a 40cm knife that he used to intimidate a woman between 4.10am-4.30am on March 28 – around the same time of the alleged murder.

He’s accused of then attempting to break into the same woman’s property in Robert Street while armed with the knife, between 4am-4.30am.

Green also faces charges of larceny of an Apple Ipad worth $500 between 8am and 8.20am on March 28 in South Tamworth as well as larceny of two suitcases of clothing and two laptops between 5.30 and 5.35pm at Hornsby in Sydney. It’s still unknown how he travelled to Sydney on the day of the alleged murder.

On Wednesday morning, police again refused to say how Ms Luckwell was killed, but confirmed Green was known to the 22-year-old. 

Oxley Superintendent Fred Trench said the public’s help combined with the tireless dedication of detectives – who worked around the clock on the case – culminated in the murder charge.

Each murder is traumatic but the circumstances in this one, such a young lady, her body was found in the company of her 13-month-old daughter, and certainly in those circumstances that would add a little bit of extra trauma to the investigation.

Oxley Superintendent Fred Trench

“The last seven weeks for investigators have been a very trying time, they put a lot of effort into it,” he said.

“Each murder is traumatic but the circumstances in this one, such a young lady, her body was found in the company of her 13-month-old daughter, and certainly in those circumstances that would add a little bit of extra trauma to the investigation.”

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Superintendent Trench said the family were briefed on the murder charge by detectives late on Tuesday afternoon and the community played “a significant role” in the police probe.

Quite soon after the body was located, a significant amount of information came in and that has led detectives to this charge [on Tuesday].

Oxley Superintendent Fred Trench

“Quite soon after the body was located, a significant amount of information came in and that has led detectives to this charge [on Tuesday],” he said.

Officers in charge of Strike Force Penola – the homicide squad and Oxley detectives probe into the alleged murder – were also in court for the brief proceedings on Wednesday, along with two men believed to be family members.

Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) solicitor Ben Curnow said his client was “not required” on video link, and said there would be no application for bail.

Solicitor for the DPP Jai Silkman said a brief in relation to property offences was due to be served on Wednesday.

“I would ask that all matters be put over for a balance of brief order,” he told the court.

“I imagine it is going to be a substantial [murder] brief.”

Crime scene: Forensic police and a detective in Robert Street as officers canvassed the neighbourhood on March 29. Photo: Breanna Chillingworth

Crime scene: Forensic police and a detective in Robert Street as officers canvassed the neighbourhood on March 29. Photo: Breanna Chillingworth

Magistrate Julie Soars adjourned the case to July, and ordered Green, who is being held in custody in Silverwater Correctional Centre in Sydney, to appear via video link on the next occasion.

“Bail not applied for, refused,” she said.

“There is some related bonds, they also go over to that date.”

Green has been in custody since he was arrested by detectives on April 5 in Tamworth during coordinated raids.

He faces seven charges in total including murder and six property or theft-related offences.