'I'm really battling': Dad of murdered children reveals heartbreaking struggle

The father of four children who died in a suspected murder-suicide near Margaret River has revealed he is struggling to get through the days, three months on from the tragedy.

As he prepares to meet with ministers in Canberra about changing Australia’s family legal system, Aaron Cockman revealed he had been in constant pain since his daughter and three sons were killed.

His estranged father-in-law Peter Miles, 61, shot dead 58-year-old wife Cynda, 35-year-old daughter Katrina and her four children – daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan, 12, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, 8 – at their farm in Osmington, near Margaret River, on May 11.

Aaron Cockman said he has been in constant pain since his children were murdered in May. Source: AAP
Katrina Miles and her four children – daughter Taye, 13, and sons Rylan, 12, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, eight – were killed near Margaret River in May. Source: 7 News

“To be honest, I’m really battling, really battling. I make it halfway through the day and I think I only have half more to go – and then the next day comes,” Mr Cockman told Sunrise on Wednesday morning.

“I really miss the kids. I even miss Katrina.

“The sadness that I am going through, it should never have happened … as soon as the lawyers got involved, everything went downhill really really fast.”

Campaign to change the trauma of family court battles

Mr Cockman will now meet with Health Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday to warn of the potentially devastating consequences of court involvement in family separation.

“Things just began to spiral out of control,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“There was no turning back. I backed away because I could see the enormous strain she [Kat] and the family were under.”

Non-profit organisation For Kids Sake says it will have lobbied more than one-third of all federal MPs and senators on the issue by the end of the week.

Mr Cockman embraces a loved one at the funeral of his four children. Source: AAP

They argue the way courts and lawyers are involved in family separation puts the 60,000 children caught up in the protracted proceedings at risk every year.

“The trauma of a prolonged, adversarial separation leaves children scarred for life,” the group’s ambassador Karen Clarke said on Tuesday.

“This leads to greater risks of many illnesses, from heart disease to cancer, as well as higher risks of teenage self-harm and even suicide.”

Alongside Mr Cockman, the group will meet with Mr Hunt, Junior Minister for Children David Gillespie and the Attorney General’s office among others.

“We need to find a better, safer way of dealing with family separation than the family court,” Mr Cockman said.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.