Hannah Clarke’s twisted husband tried to get a job at her new gym just one day after she began training there to get away from him.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal killer Rowan Baxter went for an interview at CrossFit Brisbane about 24 hours after Ms Clarke’s first trial workout about three weeks ago.
Ms Clarke’s loved ones believe the fitness trainer’s job tilt was yet another sickening attempt to stalk and terrorise the mum-of-three.
Baxter doused Ms Clarke and their children, Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, in petrol and set them on fire during the school run last Wednesday, in a family violence crime that shocked the nation. Baxter killed himself.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, CrossFit Brisbane owner Garath Davies said Baxter had applied to become the training centre’s sixth fitness instructor.
Hannah Clarke’s loved ones believe Rowan Baxter’s attempt to score a job at the gym where she trained was yet another sickening attempt to stalk and terrorise the mother-of-three
Ms Clarke was working at The Athlete’s Foot to support her three children (daughters Aaliyah and Laianah above) and had joined a gym where she hoped to have nothing to do with Rowan
Ms Clarke attended the Brisbane CrossFit gym (above)… the following day her estranged husband Rowan Baxter turned up for a job interview to become a fitness coach there
‘Hannah had done her first trial session a day prior… I honestly didn’t know Hannah when I interviewed Rowan,’ Mr Davies said.
Mr Davies sat down with Baxter, who was qualified given his long track record working as a fitness trainer.
But the interview ended on an strange note.
‘Oddly enough, when Rowan left the gym that day, he asked for a photo with me in front of the gym, which was weird. I thought it was weird but I went, OK, sure.
CrossFit gym owner Garath Davies turned Baxter down after learning of the domestic violence claims, because ‘we’re not going to stand for that kind of behaviour’
‘He posted that photo to his social media saying that he was starting at CrossFit Brisbane, which was completely incorrect.
‘I think his words were to the effect of ”looking forward to the opportunity”, or something like that’.
‘He basically assumed he had the job.’
But Baxter hadn’t been offered a position.
And the gym owner was troubled about what he heard when he started asking around the community about Baxter the next day.
‘It was during my process of checking into him further that I got information about his personal situation,’ Mr Davies said.
‘It was a choice I made to not go any further with him …. We’re not going to stand for that kind of behaviour.’
Lou Farmer, one of Ms Clarke’s best friends, told Daily Mail Australia that the domestic violence victim was ‘obviously very upset’ to learn Baxter was trying to infiltrate the gym.
‘When Han found out and told them he had a (domestic violence order) they rejected him,’ Ms Farmer recalled
Lou Farmer (right) said her best friend Hannah Clarke (left) was ‘obviously very upset’ after learning Rowan Baxter had – apparently – got a job at CrossFit. But the gym didn’t end up employing him
After his job interview, Baxter posted to social media making out as if he won the job – but he hadn’t
Mr Davies said he could only speculate why Baxter sought the job and what his intentions were.
But he said if Baxter had hacked Ms Clarke’s social media, he would have been able to see her interactions with the gym.
Baxter and Ms Clarke shut down their fitness coaching and CrossFit business, Integr8, in December following the collapse of their marriage.
Ms Clarke’s family believe Baxter had hacked her phone and recorded her conversations to be ‘one step ahead’ of her all the time.
Ms Clarke had began working in retail at The Athlete’s Foot in Carindale to support her three children and her fears even came along to the workplace.
‘Ms Clarke had made her supervisor aware that a police order was in place,’ said Ian Taunton, The Athlete’s Foot’s national sales and operations manager in a statement.
But the domestic violence order tragically did nothing to protect her or her small children last week.
BRISBANE MURDER-SUICIDE: HOW COWARDLY RAMPAGE UNFOLDED
Queensland Police officers are called to a family violence incident that allegedly involved the couple.
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 19 – EARLY MORNING:
Rowan Charles Baxter, 42, is spotted filling a jerry can with fuel at a local service station.
Baxter dives into his estranged wife Hannah Clarke’s white Kia Sportage as she was preparing to do the school drop off on Raven Street, Camp Hill, a wealthy suburb of Brisbane.
He douses Ms Clarke, 31, and their three children – Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three – in petrol and sets the car alight.
Neighbours hear an explosion which sounded like a ‘gas bottle’ blast. At least four explosions followed.
Baxter grabs a knife from the SUV and stabs himself in the chest.
He tries to stop neighbours from saving his wife and children before dying in the street.
Ms Clarke escapes the burning car and screams: ‘He’s poured petrol on me.’
Horrified witnesses see her skin peeling off her body.
One heroic neighbour hoses her down in an attempt to save her life and suffers burns himself.
She is rushed to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition.
Ms Clarke dies in hospital from the horrendous burns she suffered in the quadruple murder suicide.
The charred remains of Ms Clarke’s Kia Sportage SUV after she and her family were attacked last Wednesday
Ms Clarke’s devastated family are now planning to set up a ‘Small Steps for Hannah’ program against domestic violence.
‘We want to try and start something to help women who are in this situation, who have suffered domestic abuse mentally, physically, or sexually,’ her brother Nat told A Current Affair.
Ms Clarke and her three children are expected to be laid to rest in the coming days.
Alongside her mourning family will be the many CrossFit athletes who trained with her and admired her athletic ability.
‘They (Hannah and the girls) were a part of our community and we as a whole are really struggling to come to terms with the tragedy and loss,’ gym owner Mr Davies said.
For 24/7 confidential support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. For support with domestic violence matters call 1800 RESPECT
Canberra stops to remember Hannah Clarke and her children
Canberra stopped on Wednesday evening to remember Hannah Clarke and her three children after they were killed in a murder-suicide that shocked Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese spoke as they lit candles in the young mother’s honour following her tragic death alongside her kids, after they were burned alive by evil Rowan Baxter.
Terri Butler, who is Ms Clarke’s federal representative, said the country had seen so many deaths as a result of family violence.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese spoke as they lit candles in the young mother’s honour
Mr Albanese hoped the brutal murder marked a turning point in the fight against domestic violence
Hannah Clarke and her three children were killed in a murder-suicide that shocked Australia
‘There risk is we become habitualised and then fail to be shocked,’ Ms Butler told politicians at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
‘I know that we all want to do better.’
People sung ‘Amazing Grace’ as they lit candles for Ms Clarke and her children – Laianah, Aaliyah, and Trey – who were murdered by her former partner Rowan Baxter.
Mr Scott Morrison said it was important to remember their victims and who they were.
‘All of that was taken from them in a murderous act of violence which none of us here can comprehend,’ he said.
Mr Albanese hoped the brutal murder marked a turning point.
‘We have all failed, particularly men have failed, the women and children of this country,’ he said.
Greens co-deputy leader Larissa Waters said words were not enough and parliament needed to take action.
‘We here collectively can fix the system and make sure that it doesn’t fail anybody else,’ Ms Waters said.
The vigil comes as some MPs stress the need for domestic violence to be on the agenda constantly, not just in the aftermath of major tragedies.
Earlier on Wednesday, Labor MP Anne Aly, said it was crucial the issue continues being tackled long after Ms Clarke’s death.
Face of a killer: Evil dad Rowan Baxter killed his estranged wife and their three children
‘I want to make sure that this stays on the agenda – that we don’t just talk about this at that critical point where we are mourning lives lost,’ Dr Aly told reporters on Wednesday.
She said there are a lot of women who will be wondering if they’re ‘going to be beaten black and blue tonight’.
‘I say to those women, we see you. And we know you,’ she said.
On Tuesday, Dr Aly spoke publicly for the first time about her experience of domestic violence at the hands of her former partner.
Fellow Labor MP Linda Burney, who led Wednesday’s ceremony, said what women needed when they were escaping a domestic violence situation was certainty and practical outcomes.
‘They need a place that is safe to go to. They need to be financially secure. They need to understand that there is support out there,’ she said earlier on Wednesday.