By 3 News online staff
The Whanganui man accused of killing his ex-partner in a brutal attack in the Gold Coast has been placed in protective custody amid fears for his safety in jail.
Lionel Patea, a former member of the Bandidos bikie gang, allegedly ran Tara Brown, 24, off the road before violently beating her with a pole. She died the following day in hospital.
Patea handed himself in to police and spent several days in hospital, where he was recovering from self-inflicted stab wounds.
He was initially charged with attempted murder, but that was formally upgraded to murder today when Patea appeared via audio visual link at the Southport Magistrates Court.
Police believe he could face "prison justice" for breaching the gang's moral code, reports the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Ms Brown, who shared a young daughter with Patea, had a temporary protection order placed against him the week before she was killed.