The British mum-of-two killed while defending her home in Australia has been remembered by her husband as the “glue” of their family.
Two 17-year-old boys have been charged with the murder of Emma Lovell, 41, and the attempted murder of her husband Lee, 43. The couple had moved to Australia 11 years ago, but were originally from Ipswich, Suffolk.
The pair were allegedly attacked on Boxing Day at their home in North Lakes, 30 miles north of Queensland’s capital Brisbane. Supt John Hallam, from Moreton Police, told reporters Mr and Mrs Lovell were “disturbed inside the dwelling and were defending their house” at 11.30pm on Monday when they confronted the teenagers.
Police said in a statement that the altercation moved out to the front yard, where Mrs Lovell was allegedly fatally stabbed in the chest. Returning home from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital after treatment for a non-life threatening stab wound, a visibly upset Mr Lovell said his family was “devastated”.
“Emma was the glue to our family,” the 43-year-old told reporters. “She was such a beautiful person. We’re all just devastated from her loss. It’s senseless. I don’t know what people do it for.”
The Lovells are parents to two daughters, with Mr Lovell previously sharing photographs on social media of them together at a nearby Sunshine Coast beach on Christmas Day.
Family friend Skyle Fleming, 14, described Mrs Lovell as “amazing”. She was always a good mum, she was always laughing, always smiling – she was always there to support her daughters throughout everything,” Skyle told 7News.
While friends in Suffolk have also been remembering the mother-of-two. Christina Lofthouse, 41, told the East Anglian Daily Times she first met Mrs Lovell at school in Woodbridge.
She told the paper: “I only spoke with her yesterday morning. This horrible and senseless crime has left a massive hole in our lives. “She was the first person I messaged in the morning and the last person I spoke to at night. We had a friendship like no other.”
Police allege the teenage boys had run off after the stabbings and were found, with the assistance of the dog squad, with two other youths nearby just before 4am on Tuesday.
The two 17-year-old boys, one from Brisbane’s Holland Park and the other from the city’s Zillmere, will face Brisbane Children’s Court on Wednesday charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and enter dwelling with intent in company. Both have been denied bail, while a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy continue to assist police with inquiries.
A fundraiser set up for the Lovell family had raised nearly £24,000 pounds by Wednesday morning. It says: “The North Lakes Community are supporting the Lovell family during this difficult time. Although the financial support won’t bring Emma back, hopefully we can provide the family with some time to mourn the loss of a wife and mother.”