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US News Brisbane car fire killings of Hannah Clarke and her three children leave Australia reeling amid calls for action on family violence

14:30  20 february  2020
14:30  20 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Ex-Warriors player Rowan Baxter, his wife Hannah and their three children dead after car fire on street in Camp Hill, Brisbane

  Ex-Warriors player Rowan Baxter, his wife Hannah and their three children dead after car fire on street in Camp Hill, Brisbane Ex-Warriors player Rowan Baxter, his wife Hannah and their three children — all aged under 10 — die after the car they were in was allegedly set on fire in Raven Street, Camp Hill in Brisbane.Rowan Baxter, 42, and his three children died at the scene.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Hannah Baxter and her children were senselessly and maddeningly murdered and Australia is grieving, as the nation struggles to come to terms with the tragedy.

The parents of a 31-year-old woman killed in an horrific car fire with her three young children in Brisbane on Wednesday had “exhausted themselves” On Wednesday members of Hannah Baxter’s family set up a fundraising page for funeral costs and to support her parents, Sue and Lloyd Clarke

a little girl holding a teddy bear: The Prime Minister says everyone's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hannah Clarke with her children. (Facebook) © Provided by ABC NEWS The Prime Minister says everyone's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hannah Clarke with her children. (Facebook)

The deaths of a Brisbane mother and her three children have prompted an outpouring of anger, sadness and disbelief among family members, politicians, domestic violence advocates and the Australian community.

Hannah Clarke, 31, also known as Hannah Baxter, and her children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, died after the family car was set alight on a street in the Brisbane suburb of Camp Hill on Wednesday morning.

Ms Clarke's estranged husband and the children's father, Rowan Baxter, allegedly doused his family with petrol.

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Brisbane car fire : 'Monster' dad sets entire family alight. Brisbane mother Hannah Baxter and her “And indeed, we know from research around homicides that, for women who leave their partners, the And she called for a bigger focus on the children in domestic violence situations. “This is not just a

Hannah Baxter, 31, suffered extensive burns and screamed for help from bystanders who rushed to her aid, with one trying to hose her down.

The 42-year-old former Warriors NRL player was found dead on a footpath with self-inflicted wounds.

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said Queensland police had "engaged with both Hannah and her estranged husband Rowan around domestic violence issues … and referred them both to support services".

"The dynamics of a family that are broken and estranged are particularly poignant to this investigation and very hard to decipher," Detective Inspector Thompson said.

The killings were called an © ABC News The killings were called an "unimaginable tragedy" by the Queensland Premier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the incident as "devastating" and encouraged victims of domestic violence to seek support.

"Hannah and her three children so senselessly and maddeningly murdered in what has occurred in a terrible act of violence and it just grieves our hearts terribly today," Mr Morrison said.

Brisbane car fire detective taken off the case after suggesting killer Rowan Baxter may have been 'driven too far'

  Brisbane car fire detective taken off the case after suggesting killer Rowan Baxter may have been 'driven too far' Detective Inspector Mark Thompson stands down after suggesting killer Rowan Baxter may have been "driven too far" before dousing his estranged wife and young children in petrol and setting them alight.On Thursday afternoon, at a press conference about the deaths of Hannah Clarke and her three children Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey in a car fire, Detective Inspector Mark Thompson suggested killer Rowan Baxter may have been "driven too far".

Nathaniel Clarke lost his sister Hannah Baxter on Wednesday morning when she was doused in petrol and set But as fire took hold of the car , the killer demanded locals stop dousing the flames and trying to The brother of a fitness trainer who was burned alive in a car with her three children has called

Hannah Baxter, the mother who was badly burnt in a horrific incident that saw her three children and their father killed in Floral tributes have been left at the scene of a fatal car fire in Brisbane yesterday morning. Father Rowan Baxter had posted several pictures of his family on social media.

"Today Australians just look at each other and give thanks for each other. And this terrible, awful event, our hearts are just full of grief."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered condolences to Hannah Clarke's family and friends, saying it was difficult to comprehend what had happened.

"Our city, our state, our nation has been left shaken, appalled and desperately saddened at unimaginable tragedy that unfolded in the suburbs of Brisbane yesterday," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"This unthinkable act of violence took the lives of three beautiful, innocent children as her mother left to take her kids to school."

Matthew Christopher says unspeakable acts happen in every postcode. © ABC News Matthew Christopher says unspeakable acts happen in every postcode.

Korri Lauder, who has known Ms Clarke for more than a decade, said her friend, who was a champion trampolinist, was "the definition of love".

"It's not just her family that's crushed it's the entire trampolining community and Gymnastics Australia," Ms Lauder said.

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A killer father kidnapped one of his three children , stalked his estranged wife and tracked her phone before Horrific murder-suicide that's shocked Australia unfolded at Camp Hill, Brisbane 's south-east on Hannah with her mother Suzanne Clarke . Mrs Clarke and her husband Lloyd said they have

Brisbane car fire : 'Monster' dad sets entire family alight. Brisbane mother Hannah Baxter and her three young Hannah Baxter, (pictured, left ) with her mother Suzanne Clarke , who ‘tried everything’ to save her daughter from Hannah , Rowan Baxter and their three children Laianah, Aaliyah and

"It doesn't feel real, it doesn't feel like it's her.

"She lived, breathed [her kids]. She'd do anything for those kids.

"When you think of family, you just think of her."

'It's got to end immediately'

Camp Hill resident Matthew Christopher said Australia needed to focus on domestic issues.

"Forget about the war on terror. Forget about it, it's nothing compared to what's going on," he said.

Aaliyah, Trey and Laianah Baxter were killed in the car fire. © ABC News Aaliyah, Trey and Laianah Baxter were killed in the car fire.

"Look what's happened here.

"The impact is on their families, extended families, on our suburb, on our street — it's just harrowing.

"To think we're going to drive past this spot all the time.

"The amount of women that are being killed, we're worrying about terrorists. This is unbelievable what's going on.

"How can this happen? For them all to be gone.

"Someone has put a sign up on the memorial about stopping domestic violence, (and) it's got to end immediately, I don't know how you do it. I don't know what it is.

"All of government, all of community approach. It doesn't matter whether it's the church, the football club, the politicians, the police, the schools, we've got to all work together."

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In a Facebook post, Brisbane councillor Ryan Murphy called the suspected murder-suicide an "unspeakably evil act".

Ms Clarke's family also used social media to pay tribute to the mother-of-three and professional gymnast, and to vent their anger.

Sister-in-law Stacey Roberts, who created a Facebook fundraising campaign to pay for the funerals, said Ms Clarke was "a beautiful soul" and that "her children were her life".

In the wake of the deaths, Queensland Women's Legal Service CEO Angela Lynch has called for an overhaul of the Family Court system.

"Domestic violence services are under pressure everywhere," she said.

"The court systems everywhere continue to be under pressure, and women are seeking assistance more than ever and we should have the systems there, appropriate systems to be able to respond to them."

'Watch out for each other'

Katrina Lines from Act for Kids urged people to look for signs of family abuse and offer support.

"We lost three kids to a domestic violence incident and that's not okay," Dr Lines said.

"The family tragedy is a really shocking incident in the middle of really shocking statistics.

"We'd like to urge everybody to watch out for each other, reach out and offer support if people need it.

"No problem is so insurmountable that you can't find a solution."

A statement issued by Belmont State School, where Aaliyah and Laianah were students, said counselling was being made available to students and staff.

"The Belmont State School community is deeply shocked and saddened by the death of two of our students," the statement said.

"The school community's thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to the family, caregivers, friends and loved ones of the students during this difficult time."

Huge fire near Paris train station amid protest violence .
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