The mother of murdered Queensland schoolgirl Tialeigh Palmer is suing the state government and the foster care agency which placed her daughter with the man who murdered her.

Cindy Lee Palmer says she suffered trauma when the 12-year-old was sexually abused by step-brother Trent then killed by Trent’s biological father Rick Thorburn, shares 9 news.

Rick Thorburn is serving life in jail for the murder. Trent served 16 months of a four-year term for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Palmer’s case is currently in a pre-court disclosure period during which lawyers are expected to negotiate a financial settlement.

Public outrage

Comments on news reports shared on social media have been flooded with outrage at the mum for daring to sue the system that was trying to help her daughter when she couldn’t.

– “I’m all for the system getting an overhaul but I’m not keen on this mother gaining financially from her daughters death when she’s the reason the poor child went into the foster system.”

– “NO, mumma you do not make money from the death of your daughter…..she wouldn’t have been in that situation if circumstances in her life were different and like it or not you contributed to your daughter being in this situation.”

– “Tialeigh’s mother deserves nothing. She is the reason her daughter ended up there. Sad for the little girl who was let down by everyone from her mother to the foster parents. ”

– ” Sure because the job should have been done properly. But she should have looked after herself and her daughter in the first place.”

– “While the broken system and the people responsible for the bad decisions that were made should be made accountable – the birth mother shouldn’t make money from this shockibg situation.”

– “First & foremost – As her mother/ protector YOU let her down immensely!! Secondly YES the system let her down also. Should you be compensated for this ??!! NO!!”

Does she have the rights to gain financially from this horrible situation?

Share your comments below

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  • She has no right to compensation. If she had been a decent mother in the first place her daughter would be alive and with her this very day.


  • Really? What sort of grieving mother would even think to do this?! If she had been a decent mother in the first place, her daughter wouldn’t have been removed from her care and placed in the welfare cycle


  • This is a tragic story but the mother should not benefit financially for what happened when she wasn’t looking after her own child. Suing the government won’t bring Tialeigh back.


  • I dont think she trying to deliberately gain money from her daughter’s death.
    The government and the Foster system needs to be improved. And this is a good example of it. Foster families need ti be properly investigated before and during. Should she be entitled for compensation?
    Maybe insteasd of money get her to have counseling sessions if she is that traumatized by the death of her daughter .


  • The government has nothing to do with her mistake! I do feel sorry for her as is her daughter but she has no right to blame them as they did not ask to take her daughter off her she did this herself.


  • No she should not benefit from this. We do not know why her daughter was in the system so we can not place blame on the mother. The system really needs to be overhold so that children are safe.

    • CINDY Palmer has told how she gave her daughter up during a “severe domestic violence situation” because she thought it was the safest option for a then seven-year-old Tiahleigh.


  • Whilst I feel sorry for her for losing her daughter in such a tragic way, I think she should also accept personal responsibility for her daughter being in the foster care system.


  • Such a sad situation, but i dont think she should profit


  • There is no indication why Tiahleigh was put in foster care. I met 2 children who were placed in Foster Care when their parents were in a car accident. Their Dad died and their Mum suffered horrific injuries. The children were placed in Foster Care until their Mum recovered enough after being discharged from hospital and undergoing a further 3 months rehabilitation. People who didn’t know the circumstances were very quick to judge and say she was a bad Mother


  • It does seem a bit like she cares more about money than her daughter. If her daughter was so important to her then she coild have made a bigger effort to raise her.


  • A horrible situation but no excuse to try and profit from it.


  • No I don’t think she should gain financially from her daughters death. But the mother shouldn’t be blamed by the public either, that her daughter was is this situation. And I do think the people and organisation who were accountable for the bad decisions and this incidents should be held accountable.


  • NO – there was a reason that her daughter was put into foster care and that came from her original homelife with her mum (and what ever reason that was).

    Unfortunately the system let Tialeigh down and I am certain that this warrants an investigation into how Mr Thorburn was found suitable to be a foster family and then maybe increasing the check system for current and future foster families.

    Instead of suing she should be working to ensure that future foster families are the best they can be to help nurture and protect foster children.


  • No. She doesn’t have the right to gain financially. The state may have failed her child but that beautiful little girl would never have been with the state if she’d been the mother, and responsible parent that she should have been in the first place. Part of the blame for this girls fate rests with her mother as well as the state and her murderers.


  • This poor child was so let down – such a tragedy.

    • Let’s hope out of this tragedy better systems are put in place and this does not happen to any other child.


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