Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin
Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin Tony Martin

Parents hit back at Morcombes for supporting judge

THE parents of North Queensland boy Hemi Burke - who was bashed to death by his babysitter in 2015 - have lambasted the Morcombes for supporting a judge's order to remove tribute shirts featuring the toddler's face.

Justice James Henry made the order at Hemi's killer's guilty plea in the Mackay Supreme Court earlier this week.

Bruce Morcombe, father of murder victim Daniel, backed the judge's call and said courts were a place of impartiality.

In a letter obtained by The Courier-Mail, Hemi's parents Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin (pictured) hammered Mr Morcombe's decision to speak publicly on the case before contacting them.

"My lord, how could you of all people put a negative spin on this? We look up to and consider you guys roll models (sic)," the letter reads. Mr Morcombe suggested Hemi's supporters wear a symbolic colour in future, like Daniel's family did during the trial of his killer Brett Peter Cowan in 2013.

"If it's because you agree that our shirts are a silent protest. How would wearing a symbolic colour be any different?" Hemi's parents' letter continues.

Yesterday Mr Morcombe said the two families were at different stages of grief. "We've walked that walk. They're doing it tough," he said. Mr Burke and Ms Goodwin said they will continue to defy the court and have encouraged friends and family to keep wearing the shirts.