Two teenagers have been charged with the murder of a British mother of two who was killed while defending her home in Australia on Boxing Day.

The 17-year-olds appeared in court for the murder of Emma Lovell, 41, and the attempted murder of her husband Lee Lovell, 43.

The couple, from Ipswich, Suffolk, were reportedly attacked on December 26 at their home in North Lakes, 30 miles north of Queensland’s capital Brisbane.

Superintendent John Hallam, of Moreton Police, told reporters Mr and Mrs Lovell were ‘disturbed inside the accommodation and were defending their home’ at 11.30pm on Monday when they confronted the teenagers.

Police said in a statement that the altercation moved to the front yard, where Ms Lovell was allegedly stabbed to death in the chest.

Mr Lovell, who was allegedly stabbed in the back, was treated for a non-life-threatening stab wound.

Returning from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, a visibly upset Mr Lovell said his family were “devastated”.

“Emma was the glue of our family,” he told reporters.

“She was such a beautiful person. We are all devastated by her loss.

“It’s insane. I don’t know why people do that.”

The Lovells are parents to two daughters, with Mr Lovell previously sharing photos on social media of them together at a nearby Sunshine Coast beach on Christmas Day.

They would have been in Australia for over 10 years.

Family friend Skyle Fleming, 14, described Ms Lovell as ‘amazing’.

“She was always a great mum, she was always laughing, always smiling – she was always there to support her daughters through everything,” Skyle told Australian news service 7News.

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Police allege the teenagers fled after the stabbings and were found, with the help of the canine squad, with two other youngsters nearby just before 4am on Tuesday.

The two 17-year-old boys appeared in Brisbane Children’s Court on Wednesday, each charged with one count of murder, attempted murder and entering a dwelling with intent in company.

They were denied bail and will next appear in court on January 16, ABC News Australia reported.

Meanwhile, another 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy continue to assist the police in their investigations.

Police reportedly confirmed that the four minors were already known to officers.

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said the circumstances which led the teenagers to come to the North Lakes home were still under police investigation.

She told reporters in Australia: ‘We need to know why the young people were on that street at that particular time that night and that is being investigated and those are not matters that I am going to comment on. .”

A GoFundMe fundraiser set up for the Lovell family had raised just over £26,000 as of 7am UK time on Wednesday.

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