Fury at drug baron’s lavish prison wedding
A DRUG lord who made millions as the "puppet master" of a sophisticated cannabis syndicate has served guests Moreton Bay bugs, prawns and prime-cut steaks at a picturesque wedding on a prison farm where he is serving time, according to furious prison officers.
The Courier-Mail has been told convicted drug trafficker Terrence John Thornbury, 41, held the lavish wedding at Palen Creek Correctional Centre near the Queensland-NSW border yesterday.
A well-dressed Thornbury, who was sentenced to 10 years' jail for running an interstate drug trafficking ring, was seen posing for photographs under a tree on the farm after the wedding was held in the farm chapel.
His bride, Jessica Salmon, wore a white dress, arriving after guests gathered at the farm about 1pm.
The Courier-Mail is prohibited by law from publishing or taking photographs, but witnessed about 20 guests arriving in luxury cars including an Audi and a black Ford GT500 previously associated with Thornbury's car business.
Queensland Corrective Services have been contacted for comment in relation to the hosting of the wedding.
There were no additional staff put on the day, according to officers.
One of his co-accused, who is serving time at the same farm, also attended the wedding.
"I've never seen anything like this," one officer said.
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) confirmed 36 guests, three prisoners and Thornbury were at the wedding.
Two prisoners cooked the food and QCS did not pay for any aspect.
"Food was provided by the family for guests," a spokesman said.
"All remaining food was removed from the centre by family at the completion of the event."
Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said he was appalled by what had happened, and so was the commissioner.
"It should never have happened and it will never happen again," he said.
"These types of events will be banned.
"There will be a thorough investigation and the commissioner will take appropriate action."
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said ""we all know the Palaszczuk Labor Government is soft on crime but this is ridiculous".
"By allowing lavish events like this in our prisons, Labor is making a mockery of our justice system," she said.
"Under Palaszczuk's Prison Palaces crooks in Queensland have never had it so good.
"While many Queenslanders are doing it tough, with rising electricity, fuel and rego costs - prisoners are living it up.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk's priorities are all wrong."
Thornbury was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to trafficking 2834kg of marijuana on flights to Queensland.
The trafficking was between January 2013 and April 2014.
He was jailed in 2016.
He was the mastermind of the operation which involved sending couriers on flights from Melbourne.
It was categorised as a serious crime offence meaning he has to serve 80 per cent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
It's understood the last prison wedding was held was in 2013 however officers said they had never seen anything like the one held yesterday.
The QCS spokesman said "we share the concerns expressed about the event at Palen Creek yesterday."
"This is the first wedding in a QCS facility since Commissioner Peter Martin joined QCS, and he has taken immediate steps to review the policy around decision-making," he said.
"Commencing immediately, the decision to allow weddings in prisons has been elevated to Deputy Commissioner level, with the Commissioner having right of review.
"Under the existing policy, decisions to allow prison weddings were made at General Manager level.
"An investigation has been launched into yesterday's wedding, and a more comprehensive review of the policies is being undertaken to ensure that our officers clearly understand both the policy and broader implications around decisions of this nature to ensure no further events like this occur."