Melbourne rampage: The Hakin family torn apart by car rampage

The heartbroken father who lost his daughter in the Bourke St massacre is running between hospitals where his injured wife and another daughter are fighting for their own lives.

Tony Hakin was focused on simply getting through the day as he dealt with the loss of 10-year-old Thalia, said Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, news.com.au reported.

Rabbi Smukler is the principal of Beth Rivkah College and has met all four family members - and worries about the long-term impacts last week's tragedy would have on them.
Mother Nathalie remains critically ill in hospital, while nine-year-old Maggie was also seriously injured.

They were with Thalia at Bourke St Mall when Dimitrious Gargasoulas, 26, allegedly mowed them and dozens of others down. Thalia and four others were killed.

"They were just enjoying the school holidays," Rabbi Smukler said on Monday, as Gargasoulas was released from hospital and taken to police station by homicide squad detectives.

The incident had affected the entire country and while there had been an "outpouring of grief and people coming together" he suspected the future for the Hakin family would be very tough.

"My worry is that there will be families whose lives will never be the same again ... If you think about the Hakin family, when everyone goes back to their normal routine in life they will still need support in every way - moral support, emotional support, financial support. Everything."

He said Mr Hakin was coping as well as he could.

"He's stoic, he's strong. I'm assuming he's probably in shock. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to put one foot in front of the other."

A child lays flowers on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets after a man went on a rampage in a car. Photo / AP
A child lays flowers on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Streets after a man went on a rampage in a car. Photo / AP

While he tried to cope with what had happened to his family, the horror of what happened on Bourke St has dominated Australian life in recent days. Initial shock has been replaced with a quickly building anger that such an atrocity could have been committed.

"He's running between hospitals with everything that's going on and to deal with it all.
And he hasn't even buried his daughter yet."

Maggie Hakin was well enough now to have visitors, including her teachers, friends and family. But her mother was still seriously unwell.

"Natalie really needs our prayers payers for recovery - god willing she will."

Even though most Australians would eventually get on with their lives Rabbi Smukler said he had "great faith" society would learn the lessons needed to become an "even stronger city and country".

"We are an extraordinary place to live. But these families will need ongoing support."

One of the things the school would do will be to train staff and students to help "normalise" Maggie's life when she was well enough to return.

"God willing the mum will get better and recover - my understanding is it will be along haul - and Dad will need a lot of emotional support, so we're really going to need to support them."

The horror of what Mrs Hakin was enduring in hospital had not escaped those in the school community.

"[When] you're facing your own injuries, imagine having to face the injured heart of losing a child. And with her in hospital, Tony is trying to keep the whole family together."

Mr Hakin had strong family support and the police were assisting him as well.

When Rabbi Smulker spoke to him he found him to be strong and concentrating on just what was in front of him.

An injured man in Bourke St, Melbourne. Photo / Supplied
An injured man in Bourke St, Melbourne. Photo / Supplied

"He's been very pragmatic, he has to be strong to cope with it. I don't think he's had the opportunity to process it yet."

As well as the need to support the Hakin family, Rabbi Smukler told news.com.au he hoped people could move forward from the tragedy in a positive way.

"Let's not point the finger, let's collectively learn any lessons that need to be learned but focus on strengthening each other and supporting police, because they need support as well. If people made mistakes we can't turn the clock back... we just have to learn and focus on the constructive."

The Jewish community has rallied around the family, with one member, Avi Yemini, setting up a crowd-funding page to raise money for them.

It has so far raised more than A$30,000.

More than 1100 people attended a prayer service for Thalia in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda on Sunday night.

Former Human Rights Commissioner and Liberal MP Tim Wilson was at the service. The Hakin family lives in his electorate of Goldstein.

"People are angry. Obviously this individual was driving around madly in the city and there wasn't enough intervention to stop this tragedy," he told The Australian.

"I don't think anyone really disputes there needs to be a review of the bail system after this because what we're seeing far too often is people on bail then go on to commit crimes which obviously have a societal wide impact as well as on the victims."

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 May 2017 20:51:38 Processing Time: 698ms