NO ONE would ever know the immediate events that triggered farmer Geoff Hunt shooting dead his wife Kim, their three children and then himself, an inquest into the tragedy has been told.
The submission was made by Andrew Stone SC, counsel for Mrs Hunt’s relatives, in his closing submission to the inquest dealing with the deaths of 44-year-old Mr Hunt, his 41-year-old wife Kim and their children Fletcher (10), Mia (8) and Phoebe (6) on their Lockhart district farm on September 8, 2014.
“I don’t encourage you to make any finding other than that,” Mr Stone said on the question of the manner of death of the five people.
In her closing submission, counsel assisting the coroner, Dr Peggy Dwyer, told State Coroner Michael Barnes he would have no difficulty in finding the shootings was a spontaneous act by Geoff Hunt, but the pressures had been building up for some time.
Dr Dwyer said it needed to be clearly understood Geoff Hunt’s acts were committed by a man who loved his wife and children and had given his wife tremendous support after her near-fatal car crash in 2012 that left her with a traumatic brain injury that caused her frustration and mood swings.
“It is part of tragedy that this happened to a family who really loved each other,” Dr Dwyer said.
Earlier on Thursday, police forensic psychologist, Dr Sarah Yule, said she believed Mr Hunt had lost hope of fixing his problems, his primary intention was to commit suicide and that killing his wife and children was a secondary intention formed from “pseudo-altruistic” thinking.
“There is a belief they are sparing them from further pain,” Dr Yule said of such thought processes.
The police officer in charge of investigating the tragedy, Detective Sergeant Darryn Gunn, returned to the witness box and ruled out the possibility Mrs Hunt had killed her children and then herself.
The inquest also heard the shotgun used in the slayings had been stored in a gun safe found locked and the key in a kitchen cupboard about five metres away by police.
Mr Barnes will hand down his findings at 12pm on Friday.
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