Investigation into the death of Kelly Wilkinson who was reportedly burned alive by her husband

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Shocking move as police are investigating their actions leading up to the death of mother who was allegedly burned alive by her estranged husband in front of her three children

  • Kelly Wilkinson’s badly burned body was found in her backyard on April 20
  • Her estranged husband Brian Earl Johnston, 35, was charged with murder
  • The coroner has since launched an independent investigation into her death
  • It called on the Ethical Standards Command to investigate police actions

Kelly Wilkinson and Brian Johnston on their wedding day. He had been arrested earlier in April

An investigation has been launched into the death of a young mother, while the coroner will investigate police actions leading up to her alleged murder.

Kelly Wilkinson’s badly burned body was found in the backyard of her home in Arundel on the Gold Coast on April 20, after neighbors reported hearing screams and the sound of an explosion.

Her estranged husband Brian Earl Johnston, 35, was found in a ‘semi-conscious state’ two blocks away in a front yard and was later charged with murder.

Queensland police admitted to defaulting on Ms. Wilkinson after she twice visited a police station to complain that he violated the terms of a protection order.

Wilkinson’s three children between the ages of two and nine, who were at home at the time of the alleged attack, have since moved in with their selfless aunt Danielle Carroll, who has five children of her own.

The coroner, who has since launched an independent investigation, has called on the Ethical Standards Command to investigate police actions prior to Ms. Wilkinson’s death.

The commission will investigate allegations the police have said to Ms. Wilkinson to give her estranged husband “ room ” after she turned to them for help over fears for her safety.

The committee will investigate allegations the police have said to Ms. Wilkinson to give her estranged husband `` space '' after she turned to them for help over fears for her safety

The committee will investigate allegations the police have said to Ms. Wilkinson to give her estranged husband “ space ” after she went to them for help over fears for her safety

Queensland police admitted to abandoning Ms. Wilkinson after visiting a police station twice to complain that he violated the terms of a protection order

Queensland police admitted to abandoning Ms. Wilkinson after visiting a police station twice to complain that he violated the terms of a protection order

Late last month, Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd and Gold Coast Superintendent Rhys Wildman announced an internal review of the tragic case and admitted that they had failed to protect Ms. Wilkinson.

“It’s a failure in the end,” said Codd. ‘A woman has died. She was murdered. She has dealt with the system somewhere, and we have not been able to prevent that. ‘

An important aspect of the review will be why Johnston was released on bail after being arrested on April 11 for what were described as ‘serious crimes’ allegedly committed in February. Police bail is a decision made by a police officer rather than a magistrate.

Superintendent Wildman revealed that police had contacted Kelly Wilkinson after a personal protection order was issued following a domestic violence incident that police were aware of on March 29.

She then visited Southport Police Station twice more, complaining that Johnston had not adhered to the terms of the warrant.

Codd defended the decision, saying police ruled Johnston had not violated his terms.

‘Contact has been made [by Ms Wilkinson] Following suggestions, there were violations of the conditions and these were reviewed and assessed and the scenario was determined to be consistent with the conditions. ‘

Ms. Wilkinson had also contacted Gold Coast domestic violence agencies to seek help because she feared the situation would develop.

“I know there was contact with one of the domestic and family violence entities on the Gold Coast around April 13,” said Assistant Commissioner Codd. “An agreement has been made with our Domestic and Family Violence Unit in the Gold Coast District.

The couple got married when she was only 18, before breaking up a few months ago

The couple got married when she was only 18, before breaking up a few months ago

The coroner, who has since launched an independent investigation, has called on the Ethical Standards Command to investigate police actions prior to Ms. Wilkinson's death.

The coroner, who has since launched an independent investigation, has called on the Ethical Standards Command to investigate police actions prior to Ms. Wilkinson’s death.

I can’t go into the explicit details, but it was to emphasize on Kelly’s behalf concerns about understanding the process as to why the [alleged] perpetrator was not in custody. ‘

Ms. Wilkinson met Johnston online 10 years ago and soon after traveled to the US to meet him in person. The couple got married when she was only 18, before breaking up a few months ago.

Her family claimed that Johnston dictated what clothes she wore and how she shaped her hair, keeping her away from her friends and family, and not allowing her to drive or work – leaving her without money.

Her sister Danielle told 7News that Mrs. Wilkinson’s death “was not an accident” and not the first time violence had occurred in their turbulent relationship.

Mrs. Wilkinson eventually opened up about Johnston’s alleged abuse towards her mother, who died seven weeks ago.

“We only lost Mom seven weeks ago and she thought, ‘Mom is the only one who knows,’ and she said, ‘I have to say something and say something,’” Natalie said.

Mr. Wilkinson’s father, Reg, said his daughter’s death is “ completely preventable. ”

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