‘No signs’ before alleged Bedford murders: boss

Flowers left at the Coode Street home. Photo: David Baylis.
Flowers left at the Coode Street home. Photo: David Baylis.

A PERTH father accused of murdering his three daughters, wife and mother-in-law showed “no hint of financial or emotional problems”, but his franchisor said he failed to respond to phone calls several times.

Anthony Robert Harvey, 24, allegedly used a blunt instrument and knives to kill three-year-old Charlotte, two-year-old twins Alice and Beatrix, his wife Mara Lee Harvey, 41, and mother-in-law Beverley Ann Quinn, 73, at a Bedford home.

Police say Harvey, who ran a Jim’s Mowing franchise, stayed in the house for days before travelling about 1500km north, then turned himself in.

Jim’s Group managing director Jim Penman said Harvey had been a respected and well-liked franchisee.

“(He) had given no hint of financial or emotional problems in the many contacts we had with him over the past few months,” Mr Penman said on Tuesday.

“The only suggestion of trouble was his failure on several occasions to respond to phone calls.”

Mr Penman said Jim’s Group would consider tightening requirements for franchisees to keep in regular contact to prevent something similar happening again.

The bodies have been removed from the house but mourners have left toys, notes and flowers outside.

It is the third such incident in WA in four months, representing 15 of 23 domestic violence-related deaths in the state this year.

Three adults and four children were fatally shot in Osmington in regional WA in May, while a mother and two of her children were killed in Ellenbrook, in Perth’s northeast, in July.

Federal Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer became emotional in parliament on Tuesday while discussing the Bedford deaths.

“Any attempt to describe the horror of this tragedy that ended the lives of three small children, the children’s mother and their grandmother is futile. It is incomprehensible,” she said.

“Sadly, it marks the third terrible killing, a family killing, in WA this year. It is clear that family and domestic violence remains far too prevalent.”

She stressed that both sides of parliament at every level must do more to tackle the issue.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has urged anyone with mental health or domestic violence concerns to seek help.

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