Furious Aussies are taking it upon themselves to find justice for Emma Lovell after the mother of two was allegedly murdered by teenage home invaders in the late hours of Boxing Day.
Both the political arena and community forums are now asserting that youth crime in Queensland must be better dealt with as thousands petition for “Emma’s Law”.
Julie West, who started the petition addressed to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, demanded legislative change in the wake of the alleged murder.
North Lakes alleged stabbing victim Emma Lovell. Source: Facebook.
The petition calls for the introduction of “Emma’s Law” which would mandate no bail for alleged home invaders who have a violent history regardless of age.
At the time of publication, the petition almost had almost reached its 25,000 signature goal.
North Lakes resident were devastated by Ms Lovell’s death. Picture David Clark
“How many times does this need to happen before something changes? This makes me so angry. This should never have happened,” one signatory wrote.
Ms Lovell’s grieving husband, Lee, supported the calls for reform.
“I am happy to back ‘Emma’s Law’ which is being promoted online,” he said in a statement.
“I urge the politicians who can make changes to do so and not just talk about it to gain votes for the next election. You need to act and follow the talking through.
Husband Lee Lovell supports the calls for ‘Emma’s Law’. Picture: Richard Walker
“Emma’s life will best be honoured by a positive change occurring, and laws changed.
“Emma was murdered protecting her family. That shouldn’t have been necessary. We all have a right to be safe in our homes.”
Queensland’s struggle with youth crime is nothing new, but the tragic Boxing Day events have reignited the well-trodden debate.
LNP leader David Crisafulli said the government needs consider making breach of bail an offence. Picture: Tara Croser.
Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli described the events as “shocking, alarming and soul-destroying”, wasting no time calling for immediate justice reform.
“They have to listen to the solutions. They have to make breach of bail an offence,” he said.
“There must be consequences for actions.”
“We’ve got to stop the carnage,” Mr Crisafulli said.
Minister for Police Mark Ryan has backed Queensland’s handling of youth crime.
Queensland’s Police Minister Mark Ryan, however, backed the state’s stance on youth crime.
“We have also seen over the reforms that the government’s delivered over the last few years an increase in the number of young people who are being held in custody for longer,” he said.
“But I also want to acknowledge that there are instances where crime, despite the best efforts of everyone, happens, and it has tragic and confronting and distressing outcomes, and we’ve got to condemn that in the strongest possible terms.”
Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard also asserted the systems to deal with youth crime were robust.
Emma Lovell was allegedly stabbed to death after confronting two intruders who had broken into her North Lakes home. Picture: Supplied
“We made significant changes, including introducing a presumption against bail last year, and that has seen more young people held in detention and held for longer because we know the community has a right to feel safe,” she said on Tuesday.
“We know that when breach of bail was in law, there was not one young person who served one extra day because of that. It doesn’t work – the courts didn’t apply because it didn’t work.”
It follows concerning revelations that youths linked to the alleged home invasion had “prior contact” with police.
Two 17-year-old boys have been charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and enter dwelling with intent in company.
Two others were taken into custody but later released without charges.
Husband Lee Lovell detailed the tragic events. Picture: Richard Walker
Mr Lovell spoke of the events for the first time on Tuesday afternoon.
He told A Current Affair he and his wife were woken by their dogs at about 11.30pm on Boxing Day, when their home’s security system alerted them that the front door was open.
Mr Lovell remembered Emma as “the glue to my family” and a “beautiful person”.
“We are all just devastated by her loss. It’s senseless,” he told the Courier Mail.
Fourteen-year-old Skye Fleming, shared touching words for ‘amazing’ Emma Lovell. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
Skye Fleming, a family friend, said Mrs Lovell was an “amazing” woman.
“Emma – she was amazing. She was always a good mum. She was always laughing, always smiling,” she said.
“She was always there to support her daughters throughout everything – she considered everyone family,
“When I saw it was Emma, I broke – it’s such a tragic thing.”
Prime Minister Albanese agreed a response was needed.
“I think there obviously should be a response to this,” he told the Today Show.
“There is justifiable community outrage. And that is perfectly understandable. And I’m sure that the Palaszczuk Government will respond appropriately.”
“I have no intention of making this a political issue – this a tragedy – and I think it’s important to recognise, to mourn this young mum who’s lost her life.
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“I’m sure that the Palaszczuk Government will respond appropriately, as state governments do right around Australia.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been organised for the family.
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