The father of four children allegedly killed by their own grandfather in a horrific mass murder-suicide has spoken of his overwhelming grief following the tragedy, and is now pushing for a major change to the laws affecting separated families.
Katrina Miles, her four children Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Ayre, 10, and 8-year-old Kayden and her parents Peter Miles, 61, and Cynda Miles, 58, were all found dead at the family’s Osmington property in Margaret River in May.
It’s since been alleged Peter Miles killed his family members before ending his own life, but that is yet to be officially confirmed by a coroner.
Now, the children’s father Aaron Cockman – who was separated from their mother before their deaths – is joining children’s advocates For Kids Sake and other groups to lobby for a new system to support separated families in Canberra.
“This is all about the kids,” he told the Sunday Times. “Go straight to mediation. Get it all sorted in the same room. Force both parties to be there in mediation and get it sorted.”
Cockman had previously been caught in a battle with his in-laws over custody of his kids, and his access to them, it has previously been reported by several news outlets.
“It’s like a constant sadness. My heart drops every time I think about the kids,” he added to the publication.
Katrina and her children lived in a converted shed on the property, which was owned by her parents, Peter and Cynda, who lived in the main house.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson confirmed at the time that three firearms found at the scene were licensed to Peter Miles. All seven victims had gunshot wounds.
They found one victim outside and an adult female dead inside the main house. The bodies of a female adult and four children were found in the converted shed.
Family members said at the time that they were “still trying to understand how this could happen”.
“We are devastated by this shocking event,” the statement read, according to multiple media reports. “We are stunned and still trying to understand how this could happen.
“We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident. We thank the community for their support and ask that our privacy is respected as we grieve.”