The sister of Kelly Wilkinson, who was allegedly murdered by her estranged partner, says the mother of three was in contact with police and support services on a daily basis in the last few weeks of her life.
“I know she was in contact with somebody daily and making statements nearly every second day, just going to the station,” Danielle Carroll told 7.30.
“I’ve just been saying to people if I could paint a picture, she was just screaming and there’s someone standing next to her just giving no response.”
Queensland police had previously revealed Ms Wilkinson had gone to local Gold Coast police stations at least twice before she was allegedly set on fire by her former partner Brian Earl Johnston on April 20.
Ms Carroll also revealed her sister was “absolutely scared” after police released Mr Johnston on bail just over a week before her death after he was charged with a number of serious offences.
“That’s when she was really getting into police contact daily and just asking, screaming for that help,” she said.
“If their hands were tied for him, why was there no safeguard for her? She was never offered a safe house, she was never offered some sort of security, she was basically left to fend on her own.”
The Queensland Police Service has launched an internal review into the matter.
‘The system has let her down’
Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd acknowledged the family’s claims that Ms Wilkinson’s pleas for help were effectively ignored.
“That’s not how it’s recorded with us, but I want to be open to the examination of revealing just exactly what did occur,” he told 7.30.
“The system has let her down and failed her because she came to us seeking assistance, and we did provide her with assistance.
“We immediately responded to her needs, and immediately implemented a police protection notice,” he said.
“She did reach out to us to express some concerns about potential breaches … that were related to contact being made with her by phone, [but] the determination by the investigating police was it didn’t meet the threshold warranting prosecution for a breach.”
Assistant Commissioner Codd admitted it was a difficult situation.
“I don’t want to add to any trauma by the family because they’re fully entitled to ask questions,” he said.
The Assistant Commissioner said one of the critical elements for his review will be the decision by police to release Mr Johnston on bail.
“It quite rightly needs to come under scrutiny,” he said.
“And of course now with hindsight … that certainly calls that into question.”
‘She was a strong woman’
Ms Carroll and her husband Reece are now caring for Ms Wilkinson’s three children, in addition to their own five children.
“The best thing about it all is just seeing those kids interacting together and knowing that they’re safe and happy and that really is helping us through the whole thing as well,” Reece Carroll said.
The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the support of the children.
Ms Carroll says she finds strength through her sister Kelly.
“Kelly has done her part, she’s told the whole world, she was a strong woman,” she said.
“I just look at those children and I think we’ve got to change things for those kids — future generations.”
Watch this story tonight on 7.30 on ABC TV and iview.
Source: Thanks msn.com