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Inquest seeks answers on the deaths of Hannah Clarke and her children


An inquest to determine if anything could have been done to prevent Hannah Clarke and her three children being killed in a horrific act of domestic violence is set to begin.

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Ms Clarke and her children were doused in petrol and burned alive by estranged husband Rowan Baxter in Brisbane on February 19, 2020.

She and children Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, had just left her parents’ Camp Hill home about 8.30am when Baxter climbed into the passenger seat of her car armed with a knife and can of petrol.

Clarke screamed at Baxter to get out, but he ordered her to drive, pouring petrol over her and through the cabin, earlier proceedings were told.

She made it 200 metres before pulling into a driveway where a man was washing his car, begging him to call the police.

Then the car exploded.

Clarke freed herself from the vehicle but was engulfed by flames. She died that afternoon.

Baxter was badly burnt but grabbed his knife from the burning car and stabbed himself.

The inquest in the Coroners Court sitting in Brisbane from Monday is expected to hear from witnesses, emergency responders and friends of both Clarke and Baxter.

“The evidence will shine a spotlight on this form of domestic violence; a form which is subtle and nuanced, even imperceptible to all but the most expert eyes, yet has devastating consequences,” Dr Jacoba Brasch QC previously told the coroner.

The inquest will consider contact by both Clarke and Baxter with domestic violence services, and the appropriateness of responses by such services and police to any contact.

The inquest before coroner Jane Bentley is expected to continue for up to two weeks.

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