Support group condemns 'victim blamers' in Larissa Beilby's murder


A group supporting grieving families has hit out at online trolls who have blamed teenager Larissa Beilby for her own death.

A homicide support group has condemned "victim-blaming" trolls amid a surge in cruel comments about teenager Larissa Beilby, whose body was found inside a barrel in Queensland last week.

Police charged the 16-year-old's boyfriend, 34-year-old Zlatko Sikorsky, with her murder, misconduct with a corpse and 16 other offences.

Larissa had been living away from home before she was found dead, with police confirming she was in a relationship Sikorsky. Social media pages for the teen have been defaced by numerous people blaming her for her death.

“It’s obvious that there are some individuals who feel that it is appropriate to use victim-blaming comments within their commentary,” Brett Thompson, CEO of the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group, told SBS News.

“QHVSG calls on any individual or organisation who feels that this is ok to think again. Victim blaming harms people. It lacks empathy and displays a lack of respect. It has no place anywhere, or any time.”

Larissa Beilby.
Larissa Beilby.

Mr Thompson said it was extremely difficult for families of victims to ignore commentary on social media and urged commenters to "realise the consequences of your words".

"The people who have passed away were living, loved people who have left people behind who are grieving," he said.

"What they don't need is to hear commentary of personal aspects of the deceased's life. That does cause harm."

Hundreds of people have rallied behind Larissa's grieving family, raising money to pay for expenses.

On Tuesday morning, more than $14,000 had been raised on GoFundMe, with Larissa's father thanking supporters. Peter Beilby wrote he plans to donate the money to a child protection charity.

“I’d like to thank everyone that’s supported our Riss, when we started this we had no idea the support in place for victims of crime,” Mr Beilby wrote.

Sikorsky's lawyer to fight murder charge

Larissa Beilby was last seen in the north Brisbane suburb of Sandgate on June 15. She had been reported missing by her father one day before her body was discovered in a barrel found on the tray of an abandoned ute in Stapylton on the Gold Coast.

The body was not formally identified as Ms Beilby’s until Saturday.

Zlatko Sikorsky is seen in a police vehicle arriving to Maroochydore Police Station, Queensland, Saturday, June 30
Zlatko Sikorsky is seen in a police vehicle arriving to Maroochydore Police Station, Queensland, Saturday, June 30.

Sikorsky's lawyer Brendan Ryan said his client intended to fight the murder charge, suggesting Larissa may have died by accident.

"We're going to wait until the autopsy report is provided to police and to my office," Mr Ryan said.

"No doubt, hopefully, misadventure will be open on the basis of that autopsy report."

Police allege Sikorsky killed Larissa sometime between June 22 and 28.

He did not appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday after being arrested following a 28-hour siege on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend, with his matter adjourned for committal in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on September 3.

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