Police should have suspected violence
A POLICE officer, who received a call from a woman about her ex's bizarre behaviour three months before she was murdered, should have suspected she was a victim of domestic violence, an inquest has heard.
Following a three-day inquest into the deaths of Tania Simpson, her five-year-old daughter Kyla Rogers and Antony Way, and the suicide of Paul Rogers in May, 2011, Mr Barnes delivered his recommendations on Thursday afternoon.
Rogers murdered Ms Simpson and her new partner, Mr Way, in Ms Simpson's Robina unit on May 15, 2011, before abducting Kyla from her bed, driving to a remote spot on the Bruxner Highway, west of Casino, and gassing himself and his daughter.
The inquest heard Rogers' behaviour became controlling, obsessive and bizarre after he split from fiancée Ms Simpson in October 2010.
State Coroner Michael Barnes said Rogers stalked Ms Simpson, threatened to kill her and even bought binoculars to spy on her.
The inquest reviewed the adequacy of the Queensland Police Service response to the tragedy, including the seven-hour delay of a child abduction alert.
Mr Barnes said that based on the information Ms Simpson disclosed to Broadbeach Police Sergeant Robert Smithson during a phone call about Rogers' behaviour on February 16, 2011, the police officer should have conducted further questioning about Rogers' behaviour.
But he found when Sgt Smithson did question Rogers about his behaviour, Rogers "duped the officer into believing his was an innocuous father simply wanting to spend more time with his children".
Mr Barnes accepted the delay in the child abduction alert and recommended greater education of domestic violence so friends and family could identify the risks.
"...it is tempting to say that nothing could have been done, but in my view that is not good enough," he said.
"Nearly half of all homicides committed during (the last six years) involve domestic or family violence. There are no reasons to believe that this terrible toll will diminish if we simply continue to do what we have been doing."
Mr Barnes recommended the state government continue to fund the domestic and family violence death review unit and the risk factors police use to determine whether a domestic violence victim is at risk, be reviewed.
Finally, evidence presented during the inquest, including chilling details of the events leading up to the tragic killing spree, should be considered to be used in public awareness campaigns about the risks posed by non-violent domestic violence.