Robert Honan was watching the Sydney siege play out on his TV on Monday, concerned and horrified at the situation but not realising just how close he was to the drama.
The father from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was wondering why he couldn’t reach his mother and sister,who he usually speaks to at least three times a day.
Robert and his child. Image via Facebook.
Robin Hope, 74, was in the cafe with her 52-year-old daughter Louisa. They were among the last to get out of the Lindt cafe, having to be carried out on stretchers due to injuries sustained from police stun-guns during the crossfire.
Mr Honan and his partner Danielle Svensen lit a candle in their home on Monday night for the hostages.
“We went to bed thinking, ‘Those poor people,’ and were completely oblivious to the fact that our family was in there as well,” said Ms Svensen.
Louisa had been used by Man Haron Monis as a human shield throughout the siege, with family and friends saying the gunman picked her because she has a disability.
A woman laying flowers at Martin Place on Tuesday morning.
She has multiple sclerosis and requires a walking stick at all times. But she stayed close to the gunman for hours, even as she grew weary.
“She is a very strong lady, she has a brilliant mind. But she wouldn’t have been able to defend herself physically,” her close friend and neighbour
“He’s picked her as the shield because she’s crippled, she can’t fight back.”
“While he was holding her, Louisa’s mother was screaming at him telling him to let her go,” Louisa’s ex-husband Tony said.
The sea of flowers by Tuesday afternoon. Image via Getty.
“Louisa was saying, ‘Mum, stop it’, telling her to keep quiet. Her mum could have escaped apparently but refused to leave her daughter behind. What mother would? They are as close as mother and daughter can be.”
Louisa and her mother are recovering from surgery at the moment. Mr Honan says his sister is likely to remain in hospital for the next month.
Click through the gallery below for tributes to the hostages.
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