A mother and her precious children were laid to rest together weeks after the kids’ father doused their vehicle in petrol.
31-year-old Hannah Clarke and her three children, 3-year-old Trey, 4-year-old Laianah, and 6-year-old Aaliyah, were placed in one coffin as hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, police commissioner Katarina Carroll, and Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk were among the mourners.
A memorial bookmark given away read: “Forever in our hearts. Your lives were a blessing, your memories a treasure. You are all loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure.”
Fiona Cunningham placed pink flowers at the start of the service.
The mother’s brother, Nathaniel, delivered a eulogy remembering Hannah as ‘one of the greatest mums to walk this earth.’
“I’ve loved you since the day I was born,” he expressed. “We weren’t brother and sister, we were friends.”
Nathaniel also remembered their family’s last outing to Sea Word only 3 days before his sister and her children were killed.
He said: “The day was a pure joy. They were the best memories, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so sorry I couldn’t protect you Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey.”
Nathaniel also described his nephew and nieces as beautiful kids who reflected their mother. “Aaliyah, you were everything a big sister should be, brave, strong and quite bossy.
“Laianah, you were the ratbag, the little middle. There was so much of Hannah in you. You were beautiful, sweet and caring with an amazing imagination. You were the sweetest kid and a beautiful mermaid.
“Trey, mother’s little man and her best surprise.”
Hannah’s parents, Suzanne and Lloyd Clarke, said to Daily Mail Australia that she had long been a victim of domestic violence.
“She had to get the kids and just go without saying anything, because he was such a control freak and would get into her headspace and she would give in,” Mr. Clarke shared.
The children’s father, Baxter, was occasionally allowed to see them on weekends. However, there was always tension, and one assault, on pickups and drop-offs.
“He kidnapped (one of the kids) on Boxing Day and took her interstate for four days until the police got her back,” Mrs. Clarke said. “He stayed with a mate who was an absolute animal and sent Hannah a disgusting email blaming her for everything.”
“Everything got worse after she left as he couldn’t control the situation anymore,” she expressed.
“He thought he was hard done by and wanted 50 per cent of custody and we knew that couldn’t work, the guy didn’t work, he couldn’t support his own family. It started getting ugly,” Mr. Clarke added.
Baxter poured petrol all over Hannah and his children before setting their car alight. The mother managed to escape and scream: “He’s poured petrol on me,” according to witnesses.
The father then took his own life with a knife.
One internet user commented: “Oh my goodness this is absolutely heartbreaking…Rest In Peace.”
Another wrote: “Sadness beyond words, this beautiful woman and her children should be enjoying life, not be resting in a coffin.”
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