Trigger warning: this post deals with domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.
It was an ordinary February night in 2014 and Marlene Locke was watching television and reading catalogues with her daughter Sherelle in their Boronia Heights home in south Brisbane.
As mother and daughter giggled over something in one of the catalogues, Ms Locke’s husband Raymond John Mead arrived home in a frenzied rage from a night of drinking. After finding a knife in the kitchen, an enraged Mead made his way into the lounge room and proceeded to stab his step daughter to death in front her mother.
Ms Locke watched – blocked by her then-husband from both giving and calling for help – as her eldest daughter and “best friend” slipped away from her.
Some two-and-a-half years later, Mead was sentenced to life in prison for his step-daughter’s murder. He has a maximum possible non-parole period in the Queensland justice system of 20 years.
Now, Marlene Locke has launched a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise money so she can change the names of the two children she shared with Mead.
“Due to my two small children having the same surname as my murdering ex-husband I am trying to raise funds to get their names changed so they don’t have to grow up with a murderer’s surname,” she wrote on the fundraising page.
“Not only will I benefit from this but [it’s for] my two children especially, so they are not tormented or teased at school as they get older about their last name and that they are children of a murderer.”
She went on to write that she still fears for her family’s safety because her ex-husband “never gives up, even behind bars”.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser was sitting at about 80 per cent of its $2,000 target.