Australian mother charged with murder of eight children

Melbourne: A 37-year-old mother was today charged for killing her seven children from five different husbands and her niece, who were found stabbed to death in Cairns city in north Queensland in Australia.

Mersane Warria “was charged with eight counts of murder in a bedside hearing at a hospital in the northern city of Cairns where she is recovering from stab wounds,” said Queensland police official.

“The cause of the death have not been revealed but we are examining several knives in the home that may have been the weapon used to kill them. Suffocation was also a possible cause of death,” Queensland Police Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Warria was arrested yesterday after the bodies of eight children were found in the Cairns home.

Four girls aged 14, 12, 11 and two, and four boys aged nine, eight, six and five were found dead in Murray Street, Manoora, where the woman was also located.

“We were called to the house by her 20-year-old son in the Cairns suburb of Manoora on Friday morning after receiving a report of a woman with serious injuries. On reaching we found the bodies, along with Warria, who was suffering from stab wounds to the chest,” Asnicar said.

The matter will be heard on Monday in the Cairns Magistrates Court but the accused is excused from attending the hearing.

Commenting on the incident, Prime Minister Tony Abbott had said it was an “unspeakable crime”, and that all parents would feel “gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened”.

Flowers and teddy bears were laid near the crime scene and church services were held in Cairns.

The incident comes days after an Iranian-born ISIS sympathiser took 17 people hostages and killed two of them before being gunned down by the forces in the 17-hour-long hostage drama at a cafeteria in Sydney on Monday.