Deputy Commissioner Emergency Management Peter Thurtell is pictured addressing media on Monday

A father who was known to police for domestic violence matters killed his son then took his own life after being permitted to have an access visit with the child.

The man, 38, and two-year-old boy were found dead inside a unit on College Street in East Lismore, on NSW’s Far North Coast, at about 9.45pm on Sunday after police were called to perform a welfare check. 

Deputy Commissioner Emergency Management Peter Thurtell said the man was known to police for previous domestic violence matters but not ‘significant issues’.

He said the mother was living in the local community with her son, who was an only child, and the father had an access visit on Sunday.

‘The mother raised concerns [to police] with the fact they were due to hand over the child at 4.30pm and by 5.30pm she had contacted police and we went round to the residence and made the discovery,’ Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said. 

Deputy Commissioner Emergency Management Peter Thurtell is pictured addressing media on Monday

Deputy Commissioner Emergency Management Peter Thurtell is pictured addressing media on Monday

Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said detectives are aware of how the pair died and there was no weapon involved.

‘The father has created a system where both he and the child have passed away as a result of the system he set up,’ he said. 

‘A more tragic event you wouldn’t come across.’

It is understood the mother of the child had an Apprehended Violence Order out against the father. 

A small red tricycle could be seen sitting in the carport as detectives and forensic teams scoured the two-bedroom unit on Monday. 

A local woman, called Lucy, said she had met the ‘sweet’ and ‘shy’ boy when the family moved into the property around 6 months ago. 

Forensics teams are pictured at the unit on College Street in East Lismore, on NSW's Far North Coast, on Monday

Forensics teams are pictured at the unit on College Street in East Lismore, on NSW’s Far North Coast, on Monday

When they first moved in they saw my cat and they came around and were playing with him … he was a bit shy, the boy, but he just wanted to play with my cat,’ she told ABC News.

Lucy said many residents in the area had only recently returned after devastating floods swept through the region in 2022.

‘I came back a year after the floods and it’s taken a lot longer for some of the other places to get renovated and get tenants back in,’ she said.

As investigations continue, anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

For confidential support 24/7, contact LIFELINE 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

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