Luke Hanif Sekkouah charged with murder over death of Erica Hay in Warnbro house fire

Dylan Caporn and Troy de Ruyter
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Erica Hay's partner has been charged with murder after her body was discovered in Warnbro on Friday.
Erica Hay's partner has been charged with murder after her body was discovered in Warnbro on Friday. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

A 35-year-old man has been charged with murder following the death of mother-of four Erica Hay, whose body was found after a house fire.

The charge over Ms Hay’s death in Perth comes on a weekend of protests across the nation with calls for concrete action to break the cycle of violence that has already claimed the lives of at least 27 women so far this year.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to attend a protest in Canberra today and in Perth the No More: National Rally Against Violence will take place at Forrest Place at midday.

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Luke Hanif Sekkouah, who is understood to be Ms Hay’s partner, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Sunday where, dressed in a blue long-sleeve shirt and jeans, he only spoke to confirm his name and that he understood the charges against him.

His lawyer Paul Bevilacqua asked Magistrate Michelle Pontifex to adjourn the matter for several weeks.

Officers allege between 7.30am and 1am, Mr Sekkouah, from South Kalgoorlie, physically assaulted Ms Hay at their shared home on Currie Street in Warnbro, before setting the property alight while she was inside.

Her body was later discovered by police.

Mr Sekkouah fled the property with Ms Hay’s three-year-old daughter, who was subsequently taken to Rockingham Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

She remains in hospital in a stable condition.

On Saturday morning, family and friends of Ms Hay visited the Warnbro property where she died to pay their respects to her.

Two women hugged each other as they left flowers outside the home.

Luke Hanif Sekkouah has been charged with murdering his partner Erica Hay in Warnbro. X formerly Twitter
Luke Hanif Sekkouah has been charged with murdering his partner Erica Hay in Warnbro. X formerly Twitter Credit: X formerly Twitter/X formerly Twitter

On Friday, Acting Det-Supt Dave Gorton confirmed police were “treating (her death) as a murder”.

Forensic officers were seen placing a red Bic lighter and a bottle of Emu Bitter into evidence bags at the home on Friday.

Most of the activity focused on the backyard behind a tall Colorbond fence, with a forensics marquee erected in the backyard.

One neighbour, who spoke to The West on condition of anonymity, said: “It’s normally a quiet street. I’m shocked.”

It comes as Australians have take to the streets in their thousands to demand an end to gendered violence that advocates warn has reached crisis levels.

About 15 rallies will be held across the nation over the weekend amid calls for concrete action to break the cycle of violence which has claimed the lives of at least 27 women so far in 2024, according to Destroy the Joint.

Thousands have already attended rallies on Friday and Saturday in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Ballarat, where three local women have allegedly been murdered this year.

It comes three years after more than 100,000 people took part in the March 4 Justice across more than 40 Australian cities.

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