‘Screaming’: Kelly Wilkinson’s harrowing final weeksDanielle Carroll says enough wasn’t done to prevent her sister Kelly Wilkinson’s death. Picture: ABC

Kelly Wilkinson’s sister has spoken out about the final weeks before her death, claiming she was constantly in contact with police about what was happening to her.

“Towards those last few weeks, I know she was in contact with somebody daily and making statements nearly every second day, just going into the station,” Danielle Carroll told the ABC.

“I’ve just been saying to people, if I could paint a picture, she was just screaming and – there’s someone standing next to her just giving no response, basically.”

The 27-year-old was found dead with burn injuries in her backyard in the quiet Gold Coast suburb of Arundel early on the morning of April 20, with her three children aged under nine at home at the time.

Ms Wilkinson’s estranged husband, American-born former marine Brian Earl Johnston, has been charged with her murder.

“She thought, ‘I need to step up and I need to tell people around me because, if something happens, nobody knows’,” Mrs Carroll said.

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It’s not the first time Ms Wilkinson’s family have made such claims.

Last month her family shared disturbing claims about the years of torment she was subjected to, revealing to the Gold Coast Bulletin she had been scared for her life and for her children’s safety in the weeks before her alleged murder.

Her father, Reg Wilkinson, sisters Natalie and Emma Wilkinson, and Mrs Carroll, chillingly revealed she attempted to leave Mr Johnston in the US five years ago, but that the 34-year-old followed her home to the Gold Coast.

Mrs Carroll told the Bulletin her sister suffered “months, years of abuse. She came forward and said ‘I am scared for my life, I am scared for my children’s life. We are not safe’.”

“She was saying this to the police over and over and nothing was done. There was no support, there was no safeguard.”

The grieving sister, who has taken in Ms Wilkinson’s three kids on top of her own five, reiterated those statements on 7.30 tonight.

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While Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd has acknowledged Queensland Police failed Ms Wilkinson, he said the way Ms Carroll portrays those weeks might not be the case.

“That’s not how it’s recorded with us, but I want to be open to the examination revealing just exactly what did occur,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Codd is overseeing an internal review of Ms Wilkinson’s dealings with police in the weeks leading up to her death.

He said while Mr Johnston was released on bail, he was still subject to a police protection order.

“I think the system has let her down and failed her,” he said.

“Because she came us to seeking assistance, and we did provide her assistance, and we immediately responded to her needs, and immediately implemented a police protection notice.

“Of course, now that, in hindsight, we look back, that certainly calls that into question. We’ll be having a good, hard look at that.”

Mrs Caroll said the protection order wasn’t enough.

“I mean, if their hands were tied as far as him, why was there no safeguard for her? You know, she was never offered a safe house, she was never offered some sort of security, she was basically just left to fend on her own,” she said.

Hannah Clarke’s parents also spoke on the program, saying what happened to Ms Wilkinson brought back trauma for them.

The Queensland Government earlier this year set up a task force to investigate coercive-control laws and experts say they will be paramount in giving police the ability to respond appropriately to situations like Ms Wilkinson’s and Ms Clarke’s and hundreds of women every day like them.


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