Court bombshell in Kobi tragedy
Henry David Shepherdson was in court attempting to gain permission to contact his family just hours before he killed himself and his baby daughter in a horrific murder-suicide.
On Wednesday afternoon, South Australian police and emergency services were called to the Whispering Wall reservoir site at Williamstown near the Barossa Valley after witnesses reported seeing a man with an infant in a child carrier jump off the wall.
Both Shepherdson, 38, and his nine-month-old daughter Kobi died at the scene, with the tragedy sending shockwaves throughout Australia.
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Now, the Adelaide Advertiser has revealed Shepherdson appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court just hours before his death and that of his infant child's.
The Torrensville man had been accused of domestic violence related offending in December 2020, with the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court barring him from posting about his family online and coming within 200m of them.
On Thursday, police said several domestic violence reports had been made previously and that court processes were underway - however, just hours before the tragedy, Shepherdson had appeared in court in an attempt to change those two court-imposed conditions.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott said there was a history of domestic violence in the family but said Shepherdson had "lawful access" to Kobi at the time of her death.
"The baby was not taken," he said.
"There was a very short time frame between the public having notified us that the incident had occurred and Kobi's mother making contact with triple-0.
"Every relationship is complex, particularly when there is also domestic violence involved.
"While I'm not at liberty to discuss the specifics, it will form part of our investigation as to what was happening in the relationship and what was done prior to this incident."
He said Kobi's "beautiful little face" would "probably be the face of domestic violence going forward".
The revelation comes after it emerged that Shepherdson had stopped publicly posting about his daughter on social media five months before committing the horrific crime.
His most recent public Facebook post was on November 18, 2020.
He shared a video of his daughter, Kobi Anastasia Isobel Shepherdson, looking happy in her baby seat sitting under cover in a backyard.
"My little girl," he wrote, with love heart eye emojis. "My heart is so full."
In the clip, Shepherdson says in a baby voice, "Yeah I know, I was thinking the same thing myself," as Kobi smiles and rocks in her seat.
Chillingly, on September 3, 2019, he also shared an image format text post that read, "National CHILD PROTECTION Week."
Outraged members of the public have already been posting abusive messages to Shepherdson's Facebook page, along with messages of love and support for Kobi's mother, who has publicly shared some of her favourite images of her daughter.
Originally published as Court bombshell in Kobi tragedy