‘Terribly Violent:’ Teen Faces Court After Fatal Stabbing of 70-Year-Old Grandmother

The elderly victim was shopping with her six-year-old granddaughter when the attack occurred.
‘Terribly Violent:’ Teen Faces Court After Fatal Stabbing of 70-Year-Old Grandmother
Police attend the scene of a multiple stabbing in Cairns, Australia, on Dec. 19, 2014. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Isabella Rayner

A 15-year-old boy will face court after a 70-year-old woman was fatally stabbed in front of her granddaughter outside a Queensland shopping centre.

Vyleen White died shortly after she was stabbed in the chest in the centre’s car park at Redbank Plains, west of Brisbane, while shopping with her six-year-old granddaughter on Feb. 3.

CCTV footage showed four youths of interest, described as African in appearance, in an allegedly stolen Hyundai Getz.

The boy from Ripley was arrested and charged with unlawful use of the car after he turned himself in at Ipswich Police Station around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 4.

Two more boys have been arrested, while the search for the fourth continues.

A man of the same appearance is believed to have fled the scene where emergency services unsuccessfully attempted to revive the woman.

Detective acting Superintendent Heath McQueen said the CCTV footage of the incident was distressing to watch.

“It’s extremely confronting for first responders, bystanders who intervened shortly after to provide medical assistance,” he said.

Ipswich Mayor Theresa Harding added Redbank Plains residents want an increased police presence at the shopping centre following the attack.

“The community want a permanent police beat at the Redbank Plains town square,” she said.

It comes as Ms. White is one of six women killed by violence in Australia this year, according to Destroy the Joint statistics. In 2023, the alarming figure reached 64 women.

“Another death that should never have happened,” a south-eastern Queensland resident wrote on X.

“But for the scourge of these knives carrying out-of-control youth gangs here in south-eastern Queensland.”

Ms. Harding argued that the attack was unusual for the area.

“It’s really shocking for us as a community,” she said.

“It is a punch in the guts; it’s brought us to tears.”

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has described the attack as horrendous.

“A terribly violent crime, a crime committed ... in front of a very young relative of the victim,” he said.

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli posted a picture of flower tributes piled at the Redbank Plains shopping centre entrance, where family and friends are grieving the loss of the 70-year-old.

“Ipswich prides itself on its toughness,” he said.

“But right now even those with the strongest resolve are being tested.”

Community Rallies: GoFundMe Campaign Surpasses $7,600

A GoFundMe page set up by Ms. White’s family friends has raised over $7,600 already.

Fundraiser Katherine Lameree said the page hoped to raise funds for the funeral and related expenses while highlighting the grandmother’s legacy to the community.

“They have lost a mother, grandmother, a wife and loved family member of their family,” the page said.

“They are all so overwhelmed and warm-hearted by the community at such a difficult time.”

The page described Ms. White as selfless with “so much care for her family and absolutely anyone she came into contact with.”

It recounts how she would hold prayers for anyone who needed them.

“This is what they want her to be remembered by and not defined by the act of someone else.”

The boy is expected to appear at Ipswich Children’s Court on  Feb. 5

Isabella Rayner is a reporter based in Melbourne, Australia. She is an author and editor for WellBeing, WILD, and EatWell Magazines.
Related Topics