Warning: This post deals with difficult issues surrounding a child custody battle and horrific injuries. It may be unsettling for some readers.
It was a difficult separation.
With two children involved they often are.
Just how far the difficulties went are what is being discussed in an attempted murder trial in Tasmania.
In an emotionally charged Supreme Court in Burnie Paul Brian Edward Connelly is facing an attempted murder charge.
Police allege that in December last year he set fire to his two sons aged eight and five in the family car.
The jury has heard that the accused wanted to kill himself and his sons to prevent his estranged wife getting custody of the boys.
He has pleaded not guilty.
It was early December last year and Alison Lander left her husband after having an affair two months earlier.
Things had been strained and the couple had been having marriage counselling.
Ms Lander told the court that on December 5 she had secured a rental property in Burnie, Tasmania after contacting the Salvation Army and Anglicare for help.
According to a police witness Officer Anthony Stewart, Ms Lander had contacted the police earlier that week who said that she and her husband had fought and she was concerned for Connelly’s welfare.
The Officer said that Connelly had been abusive to Ms Lander on the phone, blaming her for problems in their marriage.
Connelly had told her it was too late and he wanted to end it.
Prosecutor Daryl Coates told the court Connelly was extremely upset on December 5 because his wife of 12 years had finally left him.
The boys were with their father that day.
He had picked up his sons from after school care and a daycare centre at 4.45pm and when they arrived at their Shorewell Park home, he parked at his property’s rear, the prosecution said.
He told the children they were going to have a picnic in the car with food and treats, and retrieved toys for them from their bedrooms.