The children of a woman stabbed 71 times by her ex-policeman husband didn't know if they could hug her when they first saw her in hospital because they couldn't see anywhere that wasn't injured, a court has heard.
The man attacked her and their two children with kitchen knives in their Brisbane home in a calculated rampage that left them all with permanent physical scarring.
In the Brisbane Supreme Court the mother of two described her scars as a "roadmap" of an attack that will never be erased.
Her former husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison for attempting to kill her, their nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son three years ago.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard the man's wife had taken out a domestic violence order against him in 2011, fearing for her safety and that of their children.
The man resolved to kill his family early in 2014 when confronted by his then 39-year-old wife over his affairs with sex workers, which he at one point funded with her engagement ring.
He used kitchen knives during the rampage, targeting his wife and children's major arteries.
The 44-year-old, who resigned as a policeman in 2008 after serving for 17 years, timed the attack in the early hours of February 2 to coincide with police shift changeovers in the hope it would delay their response.
He stabbed his wife first, then attacked his son, who had covered himself with a blanket for protection, before following his daughter as she fled to her bedroom and stabbing her more than 32 times when she tripped and fell on the floor.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman described her agony and said she'd continued to have nightmares of her daughter pleading with her father not to kill her.
"My children will carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives," the statement said.
"My children are now growing up with the stigma, shame and pain of having a parent who tries to murder them.
"The first time (my children) saw me after the crime I was still in hospital. I can never forget the shock and fear on their faces when they saw me.
"(My children) didn't know if they could hug me because there wasn't anywhere that they could see that wasn't injured.
"My body is littered with scars, I remember counting the number of wounds I had after my stitches were removed. I was chilled by the number: 71."
The man pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder before Justice Peter Flanagan.
"It is clear that you intended to kill your entire family," Justice Flanagan said.
"You admitted to police that you had been planning this ... for approximately one week.
"Significantly, you were asked by police what actions you took in relation to helping any of the victims after you stopped stabbing them, and you stated: 'I didn't try and help them'."
National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.