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East Lismore: Police treating death of 38-year-old man and two-year-old son as ‘unfathomable’ murder-suicide

Headshot of Sarah Blake
Sarah Blake
The Nightly
Police forced their way into the lismore home last night to find the bodies of the two people.

A father killed his toddler son during an access visit in a horrifying domestic violence murder-suicide in northern NSW.

Police were called to the East Lismore residence after the mother of the two-year-old raised the alarm when her boy was not returned to her at the end of a custody visit, said NSW Deputy Commissioner Peter Thurtell.

The 38-year-old father had been the subject of a domestic violence order, Mr Thurtell said.

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The mother did not have any other children and the family lived locally, he said.

“He was known to police for previous DV matters but not significant issues,” Mr Thurtell said.

“My understanding is that the male had an access visit on the day.

“The mother raised concerns with the fact that they were due to hand over the child at 4.30 and by 5.30 she had contacted the police and we went around to the residence and made the discovery.

“Any of these issues are difficult for the police but they are well-trained. Our welfare systems in place look after our officers.

“Our focus should be on the poor mother who has lost a child.”

Richmond Police District officers forced their way into a unit on College Street, Lismore, after welfare concerns were raised.
Richmond Police District officers forced their way into a unit on College Street, Lismore, after welfare concerns were raised. Credit: 7NEWS

Police would not reveal how the father and son died but Mr Thurtell said it was being treated as a murder-suicide investigation.

“The father has created a system where both he and the child had passed away as a result of the system he set up,” he said.

“A more tragic event you wouldn’t come across.”

The tragedy came on the same day NSW police announced they had made more than 550 arrests in a domestic violence crackdown under Operation Amarok.

“Operations like Amarok, that we have just been discussing, are just one tool that the New South Wales police has for addressing domestic violence,” Mr Thurtell said.

“We do target individual as well for compliance with their ADVOs, plus the courts impose strict conditions.

“If we can get them in jail, we will get them in jail.”

The man was known to police for previous DV matters.
The man was known to police for previous DV matters. Credit: 7NEWS

Police Minister Yasmin Catley said the officers who had arrived at the scene were confronted with a terrible circumstance.

“To go to a presentation of an incident like yesterday’s, it is unfathomable for me,” she said.

“We know that they see, we know what they do and we are so thankful for the work that the New South Wales police do.”

Lifeline: 13 11 14.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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