Court bombshell in baby Kobi ‘murder-suicide’
WARNING: This report may upset some readers
The man who killed himself and baby Kobi at the Whispering Wall reservoir had been in court just hours earlier, seeking permission to have contact with his family.
The Advertiser can reveal Henry David Shepherdson appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday - the same day, police allege, he murdered Kobi and took his own life at the Barossa tourist site.
Shepherdson, of Torrensville, had been subject to court-imposed conditions on his movements and internet use for four months.
He was accused of domestic violence-related offending in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on December 23 last year.
At that time, the court banned him from contacting or being within 200m of his family, and from publishing any material about them on the internet.
On Wednesday, Shepherdson's case was called on in the Adelaide Magistrates Court for an application to vary those two conditions.
His case was also referred to the Abuse Prevention Program - one of the Courts Administration Authority's specialist "intervention" initiatives.
Participants in the program are "diverted" away from the standard court process to undergo counselling and treatment designed to bolster their rehabilitative prospects.
On Thursday, SA Police said the deaths of Kobi, nine months, and Shepherdson, 38, were being treated as a murder-suicide.
Nine-month-old Kobi was attached to Henry Shepherdson, 38, in a baby carrier when members of the public saw him jump, SAPOL assistant commissioner Ian Parrott said.
He said there was a history of domestic violence in the family and members of the public tried to save the baby.
As stunned locals say the tragedy has utterly rocked their town, police held a press conference at the scene of the popular tourist attraction near Williamstown in SA's Barossa Valley.
The mother was not there at the Wall at the time, Mr Parrott said, but the baby was not considered "to be taken".
He said members of the public rang triple-0 just after Shepherdson jumped, and the mother also rang the emergency line not long after.
Emergency services found Shepherdson deceased and members of the public working to try to save Kobi's life.
A number of domestic violence reports had been made to police prior to this incident and court processes are in place.
However, Mr Parrott said Shepherdson had legal access to Kobi.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, in the Barossa, after 4.30pm on Wednesday to find the man dead and the girl unresponsive.
Paramedics worked on her but she died at the scene.
Multiple people reported seeing the man and girl go over the edge of the 36m-high wall, falling to the ground.
Major Crime and Barossa CIB detectives are now investigating the deaths along with forensic crime scene investigators.
No one else is wanted over the incident and police will prepare a report for the coroner.
SA Water this morning said the popular destination would remain closed today and asked all questions to be directed to SAPOL.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Barossa tragedy being treated as murder-suicide