‘She was so brave’: Hannah’s harrowing final act

 

HANNAH Clarke bravely told police exactly how her evil estranged husband ambushed her and murdered their three beautiful children before succumbing to horrific burns to 97 per cent of her body.

The 31-year-old's family last night gave a harrowing account of the young mother's final moments, revealing the extraordinary bravery she showed to make sure if Rowan Baxter survived, he would be punished for killing her children.

Hannah Clarke with son Trey, 3.
Hannah Clarke with son Trey, 3.

In excruciating pain after being doused in petrol and set on fire and watching her three children burn to death, Hannah managed to stay conscious long enough to tell first responders how Baxter ambushed the family and committed an unthinkable crime.

"He ambushed her and got into the car," her father Lloyd Clarke told A Current Affair last night.

"She managed to give a detailed report to medicos and first responders there, the police."

Hannah's mother Suzanne Clarke said authorities told them it was "almost like a police report" - despite the pain she would have been with, as the only part of her body not burnt was the sole of her right foot.

"She was so articulate. At this time he did this, and he did that," she said.

"To the end she fought to make sure if he survived he got punished (for doing that) to her babies. She was so brave".

Hannah Clarke’s parents Lloyd and Suzanne and brother Nat on A Current Affair.
Hannah Clarke’s parents Lloyd and Suzanne and brother Nat on A Current Affair.

The grieving parents, along with Hannah's brother Nat, revealed she was in the grips of domestic violence for years during her relationship with Baxter.

Chillingly, they said he was tracking her phone before he murdered her this week along with their three children at Camp Hill.

Baxter, a former contracted NRL player, hunted Hannah down on Wednesday morning, dousing her car with petrol and setting it alight while she was on the school run with Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3.

All four of them died.

 

Hannah Clarke with her mother Suzanne.
Hannah Clarke with her mother Suzanne.

 

Her mother said Hannah suffered psychological abuse for years, with Baxter even dictating to her what she could and couldn't wear.

"She was not allowed to wear shorts," Mrs Clarke said.

"She wasn't allowed to walk off the beach in bikinis."

The night before the horrific murders, Hannah confided in her mother that she felt "bad" for Baxter because he cried while on the phone to their children.

"The night before he killed them he was on the phone to the children crying and she hung up or the children hung up, she said to me 'mum I feel so bad for him'," Mrs Clarke said.

"I said 'don't, it's just what he does'.

"She said 'I just feel so bad'."

The couple said Hannah hid how bad the relationship was for a long time, often telling them she was "fine".

"I think she was scared to leave," Mrs Clarke said.

The family said on Boxing Day, Hannah took the children to Bulimba to ride the skateboards they'd been given for Christmas when Baxter kidnapped four-year-old Lainanah.

"He started running down the street to his car with Lainanah," Mrs Clarke said.

"He grabbed Laianah and hurled her into the front seat. Looked through the window and said to Hannah 'this is your fault, you've done this'."

"Off he went with her screaming, with her little face against the class crying "mummy". He was evil."

 

Suzanne Clarke breaks down on A Current Affair. Picture: Channel 9
Suzanne Clarke breaks down on A Current Affair. Picture: Channel 9

The family revealed Hannah suffered burns to 97 per cent of her body in the attack and they hoped to honour her life and help other women suffering abuse.

"My sister was so badly burnt that the only thing they could do for like a memorabilia of her was a footprint," Nat said.

 

Hannah Clarke’s family hopes her footprint to become a symbol for her and her legacy. Picture: Channel 9
Hannah Clarke’s family hopes her footprint to become a symbol for her and her legacy. Picture: Channel 9

 

 

"Because the soles of her feet were only part of her body that weren't burnt. They couldn't even get a hand print or anything from her.

"So we are wanting the symbol of her foot somehow to be a symbol for her and her legacy.

"We want to try and start something to help women who are in this situation who have suffered domestic abuse, mentally, physically, sexually."

Hannah Clarke’s father Lloyd Clarke. Picture: Channel 9.
Hannah Clarke’s father Lloyd Clarke. Picture: Channel 9.

Mrs Clarke also detailed the horrific moment she heard the news of the attack this week.

"I heard the sirens going past work," she said.

"I thought something is going on.

"One of the girls saw it when we went for coffee on social media that children had been burnt in a car at Camp Hill. I was like "no" when she said Raven Street and I said "no" when the police walked in I just knew."

Hannah Clarke’s children Aaliyah, Trey and Laianah.
Hannah Clarke’s children Aaliyah, Trey and Laianah.

It was also revealed that like many women in her situation, the 31-year-old had to wait for Baxter to go to work before she could pack up and go.

The family said if there was anything to be learned from the unspeakable tragedy, they wanted people to contact their loved ones more, and check in to see if they are okay.

They said they hoped people would remember Hannah for her beauty and bravery.

"How strong she was right to the very end. She fought for the children to the very end," her father said.


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