A man in the New South Wales Riverina has been charged with multiple domestic violence offences as part of further investigations into a single-car crash that killed a woman and three young boys.
Officers working for the Murrumbidgee Police District were told the rear door of a home in Yanco, near Leeton in the south of the state, was allegedly kicked in and the resident threatened shortly after 11pm on Tuesday.
About 15 minutes later, a car travelling along Research Road left the road and crashed, resulting in the deaths of a 36-year-old woman, identified as Tania Murphy, and three young boys aged, 10, 11 and 12. Police said the occupants died before emergency services arrived on scene.
Police believe the car landed on its roof in a nearby water channel after hitting a pole and rolling down an embankment at the intersection of Research Road and Toorak Road. No charges have been laid in relation to the crash.
However, as inquiries continued, local detectives arrested a 32-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman at a unit in Griffith, 50 minutes from the accident scene, at 8am on Wednesday.
They were taken to Griffith police station where the man was charged with two counts of stalking and intimidating with intent for physical harm and one count of aggravated break and enter, both of which are serious indictable offences. The man, Dean Cluney, was refused bail and appeared in court in Griffith yesterday. The woman was released without charge.
Tony Reneker, the mayor of Leeton Shire, told The Daily Telegraph: “The death of so many people in one family in a situation like this is unimaginable.
“The community is experiencing shock, despair and disbelief that this could happen in our town.”
The case comes at a period of increasing domestic violence rates in New South Wales, with calls to policy and law makers to provide solutions. The newly elected Labor party has pledged $153 million to invest in crisis accommodation, legislation for 10 days of paid domestic violence leave and to progress on a national definition of domestic violence to include coercive control.
Anyone with further information regarding the circumstances leading up to the crash or dashcam footage relevant to the investigation is urged to contact Griffith Police or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. Please do not report via NSW Police social media pages.
Main image of Tania Murphy supplied; map view.