January 26, 2021

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Deep dark history of violence

3 min read
<p>A female relative of Hannah Clarke's estranged husband has spoken about his history of violence and how she feared for her own life.</p>

A relative of Hannah Clarke's estranged husband has spoken about his deep dark history of violence and how he was raised to believe women were house cleaners and used for sex.

The 31-year-old suffered 97 per cent burns to her body after Rowan Baxter doused her and her car with petrol before setting the vehicle alight on Wednesday.

Ms Clarke was with their three children, Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, on their way to school drop off when Baxter unleashed the deadly attack.

The young family all died from their burns. Baxter died on the footpath from self-inflicted wounds.

Sandra Taylor.

In an exclusive interview with 9News Baxter's cousin, Sandra Taylor, detailed elements of Baxter's childhood and how she also felt unsafe around him.

"Not that I'm saying Rowan is a victim, but Rowan has been raised by a father and his father and it goes onwards to think that women are two things - to be the house cleaner and to be a prostitute," Ms Taylor said.

She said she had been estranged from Baxter and feared for her own life when she reached out to Ms Clarke when she was brave enough to leave her marriage.

"It was just fear, complete fear," Ms Taylor said.

"The moment I reached out to Hannah there was all this dog faeces in my yard. I've never had a stray dog on my property.

"He was continually walking past my store at the shopping centre the one where Hannah works, worked."

Family of domestic violence victim call for immediate actionTara Brown.

Last night, Ms Clarke's parents Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke, and brother Nathaniel, shared new details about the days and months leading up to the murders with A Current Affair. They chose to speak out to raise awareness not all domestic violence cases involve physical abuse.

The family said the abuse Hannah endured in the beginning was controlling and psychosocial. They said it presented itself in small ways, like the fact Baxter wouldn't allow Hannah to wear shorts or walk off the beach in her bikinis.

"Little things like that, in the beginning, we just thought, 'He's a prude'. In hindsight, we know there is more to it," Suzanne said.

"We didn't see it for a long time," Hannah's father Lloyd admitted.

"If only we could have got her out of this situation earlier. The problem was that getting her out of the situation then drove him act stronger to try and get Hannah back, get the children back."

Ms Taylor says her heart aches for the young mum her children, but disturbingly she's not surprised by the horror that unfolded.

"For everybody else, they're shocked, I'm not, I'm not," she said.

"One time Hannah came to the car and he was letting Trey play with all the photos of his mother cut up, so very very threatening that Hannah's life was coming to an end."

Ms Taylor said she is speaking out about Baxter to help in the fight against domestic violence.

"We need an overhaul of the mental health and men's mental health and it's got to start I think in daycare," she said.

Another family who have been personally touched by Ms Clarke's death are the parents of Gold Coast domestic violence victim Tara Brown.

Ms Brown was murdered by her partner in 2015.

"Nothing has changed, we haven't seen a change in the deaths, we haven't seen a change in legislation," Ms Brown's mother, Natalie Hinton told 9News.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/hannah-clarke-relative-of-rowan-baxter-reveals-deep-history-of-violence/2c937000-5afb-422f-88a8-ba496f9766b9

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