Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Pair who lost triplets now have twins

Exclusive: Qatar tragedy parents Jane and Martin Weekes welcome girl and boy

The newly born Weekes twins Parker on the left, Poppy on the right.
The newly born Weekes twins Parker on the left, Poppy on the right.

The Auckland couple whose triplets were killed last year in an inferno in a Qatar mall welcomed twins yesterday.

Jane Weekes gave birth by caesarean section to a girl, Poppy, weighing 2.6kg, and a boy, Parker, just under 3kg, at 5.24am. The twins had been due on August 6.

Last night, an overjoyed father Martin Weekes said: "Mum is groggy but doing okay."

Earlier this year, the couple announced that they were expecting, and said the new babies were a way of moving forward.

"You always know if you want to have children or not and you know how badly you want them, but then to have had them and then to lose them the way we did, it just leaves such an unfathomable gap in your life that you just can't imagine not having that kind of noise or laughter ... the joy you have from them, so it's incredibly important for us."

Lillie, Willsher and Jackson Weekes died in the Gympanzee nursery in the Villaggio shopping mall on May 28, 2012.

The fire, blamed on an electrical fault, claimed 19 lives, including 10 other children.

Last month, a court in Qatar sentenced five people to jail over the fatal fire, including the owners of the nursery, members of mall management and a government official. They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Most of the victims were expatriates.

In an earlier interview, Mr and Mrs Weekes said they thought about Willsher, Lillie and Jackson but the anniversary of their deaths was still hard, even when they had the birth of their new children to look forward to.

"It's been really difficult because for Jane - well, for both of us - you get so used to bad news," Mr Weekes said. "Whilst we're really happy, you just worry every time that something's going to go wrong.

"You just don't get to fully enjoy yourself because you just don't know what's around the corner.

"It's self-protection. You have yourself prepared just in case something goes wrong."

Mr Weekes has three older children - Tatjana, Nik and Natalya - from an earlier marriage.


Triplet tragedy

• 2-year-old triplets Lillie, Willsher and Jackson died in a fire in a Qatar mall in May 2012.

• The fire was caused by an electrical fault.

• 19 people perished, including 13 children.

• Five people were sentenced to jail for terms of five and six years for involuntary manslaughter.

- additional reporting: Morgan Tait.

- NZ Herald

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