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Father accused of killing his three kids shared footage choking them

"Yvette Browne" (2020-02-19)


loading-dudes-transparent.gifAn ex-NRL player who started a car fire which killed his three children and his wife previously uploaded footage of him holding his toddler in a head lock and slamming him into a bed.

Rowan Charles Baxter's children, Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, all died when the family's white SUV was set alight at Camp Hill, in Brisbane's south east, about 8.20am on Wednesday. 

Baxter survived the blast but stabbed himself in the chest on the sidewalk next to the car as locals desperately tried to free the children trapped inside.

The children's mother, 31-year-old Hannah Baxter, escaped the burning car shouting 'he's poured petrol on me', witnesses claim.

She was taken to hospital suffering 'significant' burns. She was pronounced dead on Wednesday night.   

Confronting footage has since surfaced of the father roughing his children up during a play fight in happier times.

Rowan Charles Baxter, 42, and his three children, Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, all died when the family's white SUV was set alight at Camp Hill, in Brisbane's south east, about 8.20am on Wednesday 

Trey, who was still in diapers at the time, eventually grew tired of the game after having his head slammed into a bed and ran off camera in tears

In the vision, which Baxter uploaded to his Facebook account about a month ago, the three children giggled as he took turns grabbing them by the neck and pushing them away from him.

Trey, who was still in diapers at the time, eventually grew tired of the game after having his head slammed into a bed and ran off camera in tears.

Baxter laughed and continued playing with his two older girls.

The video was met with messages of support from his friends, who said he was teaching his children to have a thick skin.

Inferno family: Hannah and Rowan Baxter, with their three children (from left to right) Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey, 3 

Pictured: Baxter pushing Trey's head into the corner of a bed during the play fight

Bodies were seen being loaded into the back of a funeral van on Wednesday afternoon, the family's burnt-out Kia Sportage can be seen in the background being examined by police

'That is the coolest bro. Kids love being roughed up then they don't cry over every little thing. Awesome what you are doing,' one said.

That same friend has since described Baxter's reported actions as 'inexcusable'. 

'What he has done is the saddest thing ever and inexcusable... I have nothing but good memories of the man and no one could have foreseen this happening. RIP to the little ones,' he wrote underneath his original comment.

Baxter indicated the footage was taken just before bed time.

'Sweet dreams my babies... love you to the moon and back,' he wrote.

The family business: Rowan Baxter, Hannah Baxter and their three children pose in front of the company logo

Fitness coach: Mum Hannah Baxter managed to clamber out of her SUV but later died in hospital. Above, she holds her son Trey in a beach snap

Trey, who was still in diapers at the time, eventually grew tired of the game after having his head slammed into Pondering Starting A Activity? Keep reading! bed and ran off camera in tears but the girls continued to play

He also described his kids as his 'world.'   

But just a month later, Baxter set fire to his car with his estranged wife and three children inside.

Ms Baxter managed to free herself from the car and rolled on the footpath to smother the flames, but sadly died later that day. 

The former New Zealand Warriors player stabbed himself after the blast and begged first responders not to put out the flames on the car.

Neighbours said all they could see was thick, black smoke - followed by flames reaching into the air

'T-R-E-Y, love you to the moon in back', Rowan Baxter wrote - before he was suspected of killing his children and himself. A friend, Joey Abraham, told him 'chin up, everything will work out'

The couple had recently separated and shut down the business they managed together, Integr8 Fitness, based at Capalaba.

The car blaze occurred just metres from Hannah's parents house.

Queensland Police officers were called to a family violence incident that allegedly involved the couple just last month, The Courier-Mail reported.

But the family were not involved in any Family Court or Federal Circuit Court proceedings.

For 24/7 confidential support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 

A policeman is pictured at the brick-and-tile Carindale residence where the father and his family had lives. A friend described the Baxters as a 'beautiful family' 

The blaze occurred in Camp Hill, described as an upmarket, family-oriented suburb in Brisbane's east

The Baxters separated last year and the business they ran - Integr8 Fitness - reportedly closed its doors at the end of 2019