A young boy put his sister's life above his own when he tried to shield her from their dad who shot them dead.
Sadly, his efforts were in vain when the pair attempted to escape as the bullets fired killed them both.
The deaths of two teenage children at the hands of their dad were entirely “preventable” according to a New South Wales Coroner.
Jack, 15, and Jennifer, 13, were shot dead by their dad in July 2018, while they were in hiding from him with their mum, Olga, in West Pennant Hills in Sydney.
After following his daughter home John Edwards entered the new family house and began to shoot his children while they tried to hide from him under a desk.
State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan told the inquest how Jack tried to shield his sister as their father fired multiple bullets into their bodies.
After his harrowing killing spree John Edwards returned to his home in Normanhurst and shot himself dead with a second gun, reports news.com.au.
The inquest heard how John Edwards tracked his family down and “carefully and meticulously” planned his attack after Olga commenced family court proceeding against her former partner.
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Tragically six months after their murder the devastated mother Olga took her own life
State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan blamed the NSW Police, the family court and the state’s firearm registry.
“It is difficult to imagine the pain that Olga felt when she returned home that night,” Coroner O’Sullivan said.
“To find police at her home and learn that her two children, who she loved dearly, had been killed.”
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Both the guns the father had used to murder his children and kill himself had been legally obtained from St Mary Pistol Club.
Court documents revealed Jack slept with a cricket bat because he was so fearful of an attack.
Ms O’Sullivan told the inquest that the deaths of the siblings were “an unimaginable loss” with their "potential unfulfilled".
She said: “Most distressing, is that they were lost at such a young age. To describe this as a tragedy is to import a sense of inevitability.
“That nothing could have been done to change the outcome. Instead, the evidence before this court plainly reveals that the deaths of Jack and Jennifer Edwards were preventable.”
John Edwards had a history of violence against his six former partners and eight children before Olga and their two children suffered the same injustice.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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