Qld detective taken off vehicle fire case

Graphic for Hannah Baxter texts yarn in The Courier-Mail

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has publicly apologised for comments made by the detective leading the investigation into the Australian auto fire.

Det Insp Thomson had said police were keeping an open mind about whether the deaths were a case of a "husband being driven too far by issues" or a woman and children suffering extreme domestic violence.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the march to pay their respects to Hannah and other domestic violence victims, and to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH to domestic violence.

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson made the comments at a press conference earlier this week.

In an interview with The Courier-Mail, Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll put the circumstances in less ambiguous terms, saying "Domestic violence is a societal scourge" and called on the community to intervene when necessary.

While Thompson later said he was speculating on what members of the community may feel about the case, his initial comments have been scorned by anti-domestic violence advocates for insinuating Clarke may have been culpable for her own death and the death of her children.

Queensland's police commissioner says Hannah Clarke's family was "in no way offended" by a detective's comment which suggested the man who killed her and her children could have been "driven too far".

"I thought to myself, "Wow. this is really hurtful to anyone that would be affected by this", Ms Carroll said.

The three children died in the vehicle after it burst into flames on a quiet suburban street in leafy Camp Hill, in Brisbane's east, on Wednesday.

He clarified police were not insinuating that they believed Baxter was a victim.

Hannah Baxter and her children Trey, Laianah and Aaliyah
Hannah Baxter and her children Trey, Laianah and Aaliyah

She said Det Insp was "an exceptional good police officer" and was "distressed" by the impact of the comments, but that "we want to remove the noise and concentration on the issue".

The comments have been condemned as victim blaming by domestic violence campaigners including Betty Taylor from the Red Rose Foundation and Angela Lynch, the head of the Women's Legal Service Queensland.

"If you see it in isolation, of what was fully said".

Rowan Baxter and his children.

"We'd go down to the coast and if they turned up and saw us there, they would go to another beach".

She said she also understood the outrage on social media outrage.

Rowan and Hannah Baxter had recently separated.

"I apologise for what was said and how it was said - the phraseology was completely wrong and the words and the way it was said should not have been used", she said.

If you are anxious about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider.

Related:

Comments


Other news