Two teenage boys charged with murder of British mother-of-two in Australia

World

Two teenage boys have been charged with the murder of a British mother-of-two who was killed while defending her home in Australia on Boxing Day.

The 17-year-olds have appeared in court charged with the murder of Emma Lovell, 41, and the attempted murder of her husband Lee Lovell, 43.

The couple, originally from Ipswich, Suffolk, were allegedly attacked on 26 December at their home in North Lakes, 30 miles north of Queensland’s capital Brisbane.

Superintendent John Hallam, from Moreton Police, told reporters Mr and Mrs Lovell were “disturbed inside the dwelling and were defending their house” at 11.30pm on Monday when they confronted the teenagers.

Police said in a statement that the altercation moved out to the front yard, where Mrs Lovell was allegedly fatally stabbed in the chest.

Mr Lovell, who was reportedly stabbed in the back, was treated for a non-life threatening stab wound.

Returning home from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, a visibly upset Mr Lovell said his family was “devastated”.

“Emma was the glue to our family,” he told reporters.

“She was such a beautiful person. We’re all just devastated from her loss.

“It’s senseless. I don’t know what people do it for.”

The Lovells are parents to two daughters, with Mr Lovell previously sharing photographs on social media of them together at a nearby Sunshine Coast beach on Christmas Day.

They had reportedly had been in Australia for more than 10 years.

Family friend Skyle Fleming, 14, described Mrs Lovell as “amazing”.

“She was always a good mum, she was always laughing, always smiling – she was always there to support her daughters throughout everything,” Skyle told Australian news service 7News.

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Police allege the teenage boys had run off after the stabbings and were found, with the assistance of the dog squad, with two other youths nearby, just before 4am on Tuesday.

The two 17-year-old boys appeared before Brisbane Children’s Court on Wednesday charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and entering a dwelling with intent in company.

They have been denied bail and will next appear in court on 16 January, ABC News in Australia reported.

Meanwhile, another 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy continue to assist police with inquiries.

Police have reportedly confirmed all four minors were previously known to officers.

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said the circumstances leading up to the teenagers going to the North Lakes home were still under police investigation.

She told journalists in Australia: “We need to know why the young people were in that street at that particular hour on that particular night and that’s under investigation and they’re not matters that I’m going to comment on.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser set up for the Lovell family had raised just over £26,000 pounds by 7am UK time on Wednesday.

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