1. WA father of four children who died in murder-suicide says he believes he knows what may have led the grandfather to kill.
The devastated father of the four children killed in the Margaret River family shooting says he believes he understands why their grandfather, suspected to be the one responsible, shot them as they lay in their beds.
Peter Miles, 61, his 58-year-old wife Cynda, their daughter Katrina, 35, and her four children with estranged partner Aaron Cockman – daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan, 12, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, eight – were found dead at the Miles’ rural Osmington property in Western Australia on Friday.
They had all been shot by firearms licensed to Mr Miles.
Mr Cockman had been embroiled in a bitter dispute with Katrina about access to the children, who were home-schooled, and blamed Peter and Cynda for that, saying they “cut me off from my kids”.
He believed the apparent murder-suicide was “totally” Peter’s decision and speculated about the pressure that had mounted on him before the tragedy, leading to a twisted rationale, AAP reports.
Mr Cockman said Peter had lost a son years ago and couldn’t bear the thought of losing the other, Neil, who is gravely ill with a kidney illness.
“There’s no way possible he can lose another son,” Mr Cockman said.
“I thought if something happens to Neil, Kat will not survive this one, she will not be able to lose another brother … I didn’t think about Cynda and Peter. There’s no way possible he [could] lose another son.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Neil, one of two sons of Cynda and Peter, was awaiting a kidney transplant. The paper report a third son is understood to have died by suicide a decade ago.
“He’s just gone ‘right… I can’t live anymore so this is it for me. But I need to take out everyone with me because that will fix the whole problem.’
“And he’s fixed the whole problem.”
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Suicide Call Back Service can be reached on 1300 659 467.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
2. Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity surges after the budget according to Newspoll.
The latest Newspoll has seen Malcolm Turnbull strengthen his position as Australia’s preferred prime minister in his equal best result since the 2016 election.
An eight-point jump in his approval rating has taken the Liberal leader to 46 per cent while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has slipped three points to 32 per cent.