Bondi stabbing: Victim Ashlee Good’s baby leaves hospital as mourners gather for Sydney vigil

Jack Gramenz, Samantha Lock & Andrew Brown
AAP
3 Min Read
Health authorities have confirmed the nine-month-old baby injured in the horrific stabbing attack at Bondi Junction last Saturday is continuing to improve.
Health authorities have confirmed the nine-month-old baby injured in the horrific stabbing attack at Bondi Junction last Saturday is continuing to improve. Credit: Handout/Getty Images

A nine-month-old baby has been released from hospital more than a week after being wounded in the horrific stabbing massacre at Sydney’s Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre.

The baby is continuing to receive care from clinicians after being discharged from Sydney Children’s Hospital, but has been allowed to go home, NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said on Sunday.

It comes as the community prepares to mourn the victims of Australia’s worst mass killing in years with a candlelight vigil at Bondi Beach on Sunday.

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Six people died and five remain in hospital after 40-year-old Joel Cauchi went on a stabbing spree at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on April 13.

A crowd has begun gathering at Bondi Beach as an orchestra warms up ahead of the vigil.

A first-time mother defending her baby, the daughter of a millionaire advertising guru and an on-duty security guard were among the six people killed in the attack.

Five of the six killed were women — Ashlee Good, 38, Dawn Singleton, 25, Jade Young, 47, Pikria Darchia, 55, and Yixuan Cheng, 27.

Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old refugee who fled persecution in Pakistan, was also killed.

At least 12 others — including nine women — were taken to hospital after suffering stab wounds in the attack.

Sunday’s vigil will begin with a minute’s silence in honour of those whose lives were lost.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said it would be an opportunity for people to lean on one another following what had been a terrible week for the city.

“I think if we can stand together during these difficult periods, we can send a message that there’s far more good people in this city than there are bad actors and than there is evil,” he said on Saturday.

Attendees are being asked to bring candles.

Counsellors and mental health first aid will be available.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said there was a gender-based violence crisis in Australia following the Bondi stabbing, backing calls for a royal commission examining the issue.

“I would be happy to support anything at all that sees the incidence reduced, that sees women and children growing up in a safer environment,” he told ABC’s Insiders program.

“There are a number of factors, and I don’t think there is any one solution here, but again, I think social media has a role to play here.

“The computer games young boys are playing where violence is a very significant part of what’s being enforced into their minds on a regular basis.”

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said tougher penalties on knife offences might be considered among states and territories but hosed down calls for security guards to be armed.

“We need to be careful not to overreact to these things, and we don’t want to see our shopping centres become sort of armed places where people feel on edge,“ he told Sky News on Sunday.

“But you can’t have events like the last week occur and not rethink what might be needed.”

A temporary floral tribute remains in place at Oxford St Mall in Bondi Junction.

A formal memorial service will be held at a later date and there are plans for a permanent memorial to honour the victims.

A major coronial inquiry will focus on NSW’s mental health funding and support adequacy.

Bolstered by up to $18 million in extra funding, the inquiry will examine the police response and Cauchi’s interactions with NSW and Queensland agencies.

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