A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and leaving her four children without a mother has faced court for the first time.
James Austin, 38, appeared before Hobart Magistrates Court on Wednesday, charged with murdering his ex-partner, Jacqui Purton, 37.
The incident allegedly took place at a remote property near Campania, northeast of Hobart, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Ms Purton was left with serious injuries after being hit by a white Holden Commodore, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Austin did not enter a plea to the alleged murder, but had a number of supporters in the court, one of whom yelled out ‘the kids love ya’ while he was escorted back to the cells.
Mr Austin was remanded to custody and will face court again on March 27.
Ms Purton leaves behind four children, including three young sons and a 20-year-old daughter who will be left to raise her brothers.
Following Ms Purton’s alleged murder, her sister, Zoe Purton, launched a GoFundMe campaign to support the family and pay for her funeral.
The campaign has reached 50% of its $10,000 goal, with friends and family donating more than $5,000 to support her kids.
Ms Purton’s mother, Leanne Walford, told Daily Mail Australia that her daughter and Mr Austin met in 2019 and were together for about four years before they broke up in September 2022.
Ms Purton’s four children, aged 20, 16, 12, and 10, were all from previous relationships.
Photos from Mr Austin’s social media show that he was an avid horse racer and regularly participated in chariot events around Tasmania.
Tasmania Police Detective Acting Inspector Nicholas Bowden told The Mercury on Tuesday that someone at the property called emergency services.
Emergency services tried to save Ms Purton at the scene but were unable to revive her, pronouncing her dead at the Native Corners Road property.
Ms Purton’s father, Scott, wrote of the inextricable loss his family has faced, telling his grandchildren that their mother loved them and that he shared their grief.
“My heart and my family’s hearts have been ripped apart in a tragic day for us,” he wrote.»Man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend faces court for the first time«