Funeral for Brisbane mum Hannah Clarke and her three children

Hannah Clarke and her three children are placed inside one coffin draped in bright flowers – as hundreds of mourners turn out to farewell the mother and kids burned to death by her estranged husband

  • A funeral service is being held for mother Hannah Clarke and her three children
  • The mum and kids were murdered by their ex-husband and father Rowan Baxter 
  • The horrific murder suicide happened in Camp Hill, Brisbane, on February 19
  • Hundreds of mourners packed Citipointe Church in Carindale for the funeral 
  • Baxter died at the scene of the murder from self-inflicted knife wounds
  • The mother and her children are being laid to rest together in one white coffin  

In a final display of togetherness, just one large white coffin has been carried inside a church for the funeral service of Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children.

Hannah, 31, and her precious kids Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey 3, will be laid to rest together after their estranged husband and father Rowan Baxter doused their car in petrol and killed them, almost three weeks ago.  

On Monday morning, hundreds of mourners packed Citipointe Church in Carindale to say goodbye, many of whom didn’t know the family but like millions around Australia were heartbroken by their senseless deaths. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the mourners, as well as QLD premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and police commissioner Katarina Carroll.

A memorial card was handed out read ‘Forever in our hearts.’

‘Your lives were a blessing, your memories a treasure. You are all loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure.’ 

One large white coffin is carried into a Brisbane church for the funeral of Hannah Clarke and her children Laianah, 6, Aaliyah, 4, and Trey 3

Mourners were given a memorial bookmark with Hannah and the children’s smiling faces 

At the start of the service, celebrant Fiona Cunningham said the one white coffin with pink flowers showed that ‘As in life, they continue to be together’.

Hannah’s brother Nathaniel delivered a eulogy remembering his sister as ‘one of the greatest mums to walk this earth’.

‘I’ve loved you since the day I was born,’ Nathaniel said.

‘We weren’t brother and sister, we were friends.’   

He remembered the family’s last outing together to Sea World, three days before Hannah and the kids were killed.

‘The day was a pure joy,’ he said.

‘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 described his nieces and nephew as beautiful children who reflected their mum.

‘Aaliyah, you were everything a big sister should be, brave, strong and quite bossy,’ he said.

‘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.’ 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at the funeral to pay respects to Hannah and her three children

Hannah with her grandmother and children Trey, 3, Laianah, 4, and Aaliyah, 6 

Hannah and the kids were killed on February 19 when Baxter hid in the front garden of her parent’s place in Camp Hill, where she and the kids were living, and ambushed them as she drove the children to school and daycare. 

The children died in the car while Hannah managed to free herself but died later in hospital with burns to 97 per cent of her body.

Baxter died at the scene from self-inflicted knife wounds.   

A friend of Hannah’s named Nikki Brooks told mourners ‘Han was one in a million’.

‘She was completely infectious, the kind of person you want in your corner,’ Ms Brooks said.

Another friend Lou Farmer said Hannah was irreplaceable. 

‘Han was the best role model for her daughters; she knew her worth,’ Ms Farmer said.

‘Hannah, the impact you had on people shows how special you are.’

 After the eulogies, a group of children placed coloured butterflies on the coffin. 

Senior police officer including commissioner Katarina Corroll make their way into the church, along with QLD premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

A group of tradies arrives at the funeral where mourners heard Hannah ‘was completely infectious, the kind of person you want in your corner’ 

Coloured butterflies were placed on the white coffin. Celebrant Fiona Cunningham said the one white coffin with pink flowers showed that ‘As in life, they continue to be together’

Laianah, 4, Trey, 3, and Aaliyah, 6 at the beach which was one of their favourite places to spend weekend, their grandparents said

In the aftermath of the murder, Hannah’s family revealed she had long been a victim of domestic violence.

Her parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke told Daily Mail Australia increasingly ‘frightening and monstrous’ descent of Baxter in the lead up to him setting the car alight.

They said the cowardly murder-suicide was the end of a ‘downward spiral’ which began when Hannah, who was tired of 11 years in a controlling and abusive marriage, left in early November.   

‘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,’ her shattered father Mr Clarke said.

A mourner arrives at the funeral carrying sun flowers  

The faces of Laianah, Aaliyah, Hannah and Trey on the alter of Citipoint Church 

Hannah and Rowan with their children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah , 4, and Trey, 3 

Baxter, a former NRL player, was occasionally allowed to see the children on weekends, but there was always tension, and even one assault, on drop offs and pickups.

‘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.’   

The couple believed Baxter was obsessively tracking his estranged wife’s phone and location by hacking her device – forcing her to frequently change her passwords.

He sent Hannah suspicious attachments and ‘knew things he shouldn’t have known’.

‘He was going through her phone and tracking her whereabouts. It was really scary,’ Mrs Clarke said.

Police at the scene of the horrific murder suicide which happened in a quiet suburban street in Brisbane on February 19

Baxter responded to his wife leaving him with hatred, hostility, pettiness, and even violence, her parents said.

‘Everything got worse after she left as he couldn’t control the situation anymore,’ Mrs Clarke said.

Her husband added: ‘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.’

The horrific domestic violence incident unfolded just around the corner from the Clarke’s house.

At about 8.25am, Baxter poured petrol all over his children who were strapped in the back seat, on Hannah and himself, before setting the vehicle alight.

Hannah’s parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke at a memorial service held for the mother and her three children a week after their deaths

Distraught friends of the former couple breakdown at the scene of the murder suicide, which became a shrine of flowers and tributes in the days after the deaths

A woman places flowers at the scene where Hannah and the kids were killed 

The family dog Savannah, who was like a fourth child to Hannah, was taken in by a friend 

Hannah managed to free herself from the inferno screaming ‘He’s poured petrol on me’, witnesses said.

Horrified onlookers have recounted how Baxter was ‘going crazy’ and telling residents not to help his children out of the burning car, before he stabbed himself to death.

Public memorial services have been held since the murder, with thousands turning out to pay tribute to Hannah and her children. 

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

 

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