Children murdered in SA went hungry as slain mother put ice habit ahead of her family

Two children murdered north of Adelaide this week were often left to go hungry while their mother spent all of her money on her daily ice habit, secret documents reveal.

Seven News has obtained secret Families SA documents that lay bare the horrific living conditions of the two children murdered at Hillier last week.

The reports reveal concerns their mother was a daily ice user and expose the shocking truth about why Families SA took no action, despite repeated red flags about the children’s safety.

Steven Peet, pictured left, has been charged with three count of murder after his partner Adeline Yvette Rigney Wilson, pictured right, and her two children were found dead at their home in Adelaide.
Steven Peet, pictured left, has been charged with three count of murder after his partner Adeline Yvette Rigney Wilson, pictured right, and her two children were found dead at their home in Adelaide.

They contain claims Adeline Yvette Rigney-Wilson, 29, put the drug ahead of her children who always appeared hungry during contact with social workers.

The documents say she rarely kept food in the house and used the drug every day, but authorities did nothing because they did not have the staff resources to follow up on concerns.

Rigney-Wilson and her children Kory and Amber were murdered, allegedly by Rigney-Wilson’s partner Steven Peet, at a house north of Gawler on Tuesday.

As tributes at the Hillier crime scene mount, so too do the questions.


Could authorities have done more to protect little Kory and his sister Amber?

“There are questions that need to be answered,” South Australia’s shadow child protection minister Rachel Sanderson said.

The state government today rejected calls for an urgent inquiry.

“To guarantee 100 per cent that no child in South Australia will ever be treated badly is just impossible,” attorney general John Rau said.

Seven News can reveal Families SA say staff shortages prevented the agency from investigating several serious reports about the children’s safety.

In one document, last October authorities detail evidence of neglect and drug abuse.

But the case was closed because the agency’s northern suburbs branch was at capacity.

“This is a prime example of a case that should’ve been dealt with by the agency,” Ms Sanderson said.

Officers have confirmed there were three men on the property when they arrived. Photo: 7 News
Officers have confirmed there were three men on the property when they arrived. Photo: 7 News

“Why has this ended in tragedy?”

Reports came in January detailing the mother's addiction and neglect of her children. Yet nothing was done and Amber and Kory remained living with their mother and their alleged killer.

The reason given: Full case loads for social work staff.

“I think Families SA has the resources it needs to deal with the acute cases it needs,” Mr Rau said.

Without government intervention, the first time Families SA’s handling of the case can be scrutinized would be at a coronial inquest, but the state’s coroner says that is still two or three years away.

Amber and Corey were killed in the tragic case. Photo: Facebook
Amber and Corey were killed in the tragic case. Photo: Facebook

“Why does it take so long?” Ms Sanderson said.

“We’ve had endless reports, Royal Commissions, inquiries.”

There have been 10 deaths in South Australia since last July allegedly relating to domestic violence.

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