The death of Gold Coast mother Kelly Wilkinson, allegedly at the hands of her estranged husband, continues to spark calls for a drastic change in the way issues of domestic and family violence are handled across the state.
Kelly Wilkinson died on Tuesday morning at her Arundel home after allegedly been set alight by 34-year-old Brian Johnston, in front of their three children.
She was just 27-years-old.
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It has since been revealed Ms Wilkinson went to the police several times in the weeks leading up to her death. She did everything she possibly could but still, the system failed her.
Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd, the head of Queensland Police’s new domestic violence taskforce, admitted a systemic failure contribute to Ms Wilkinson’s death.
“She engaged with the system, with us, and we were unable to prevent this from occurring,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Mr Codd promised an internal review of Ms Wilkinson’s case.
“We can do better,” he said.
But Women’s Legal Services Queensland has said an internal review is simply not good enough, arguing Ms Wilkinson’s murder and the numerous other failures, require a full and independent investigation.
WSLQ CEO Angela Lynch said the outcome must see changes to police that can prevent more horrific murders in the future.
“There were numerous serious and direct warning signs of escalating violence. This should have been ringing deafening alarm bells,” Ms Lynch said.
“The idea that the police should investigate this horrific failure of the system themselves is absurd.
“No more internal reviews that change nothing. We need a full and independent investigation so that we get some answers and solutions for new procedures and policies that prevent murder.
Ms Lynch said there also needs to be an urgent review of bail laws.
“This accused was supposed to be closely monitored and clearly he wasn’t monitored closely enough,” she said.
“Police should not have discretion in circumstances of serious assault and domestic violence to allow immediate release back into the community, without at least court oversight.”
Ms Wilkinson’s neighbour admits he never could have predicted the horror he would witness outside his home on Tuesday morning.
“The fireball in the morning prompted my wife and I into action,” Warren told 102.9 Hot Tomato’s Galey, Emily Jade and Christo on Friday morning.
“We ran through our house and out onto our driveway, heading next door to see what happened.
“The three kids were in our driveway crying and in total distress.”
Warren admits he has been struggling to fathom how it got to that point.
“We knew nothing about it. We didn’t even know that they argued,” he said.
“We didn’t know that there was anything wrong and that’s the part that’s the most horrible.”
“I did have a small warning about two or three weeks ago when I spoke to Brian and he said that Kelly was kicking him out, which was a total shock to me.
“He seemed very distressed and I didn’t see him again.
“I’m just frustrated with the circumstances, how that could happen.”
If you are in immediate danger call 000 now. If you require advice or assistance, the following services offer counselling and support.
Lifeline 24/7 telephone crisis support 13 11 14
DV Connect Queensland Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 phone 1800 811 811
1800RESPECT 24/7 phone 1800 737 732
Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast