Silent vigil and Mardi Gras to remember Sydney couple

Members of the public place floral tributes at the Paddington residence of Jesse Baird

Members of the public place floral tributes at the Paddington residence of Jesse Baird Photo: AAP

Grieving friends, family and community members will honour the lives of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies at a silent vigil in Sydney.

The bodies of Mr Davies, 29, and Mr Baird, 26, were found inside surfboard bags at the fence line of a rural property in Bungonia near Goulburn, about 200km southwest of the city, on Tuesday.

NSW Police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon, 28, is in custody after being charged with killing the couple at Mr Baird’s home in Paddington on February 19.

A Friday night vigil, organised with the permission of the couple’s families, will be held in Darlinghurst.

“To the family and friends of Jesse and Luke, we are so sorry – our hearts are with you,” Equality Australia said in a statement.

Police allege the murder of Mr Baird, a former Network 10 presenter who Lamarre-Condon briefly dated, was premeditated, while Mr Davies, a Qantas flight attendant, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shooting victims Luke Davies (left) and Jesse Baird. Photo: AAP

The vigil will take place on the eve of the Mardi Gras parade, where organisers are expected to recognise the couple.

Qantas will honour Mr Davies on its parade float while the AFL is expected to announce a tribute for Mr Baird who umpired 62 games, including two finals, in coming weeks.

NSW police officers will march in the parade after reaching a compromise with organisers, having previously been uninvited after Lamarre-Condon was charged.

Officers will march out of uniform as part of the agreement.

On Friday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb will attend a ceremony to welcome 158 new probationary constables who have graduated from the Goulburn Police Academy.

The commissioner has faced serious criticism of her leadership and has been pressured to explain police procedures, particularly relating to gun safety, following the alleged murders.

She has committed to improving policies, but rejected claims the force had lowered its recruitment standards to address a shortage of police officers in the state.

“Clearly something has gone wrong and that’s why I’ve acted quickly to conduct two things (including) the immediate audit of current processes in place around the location of the guns and approvals for any other alternate storage mechanism,” Ms Webb said on Wednesday.

“The second thing is I’ve called for a full review of our systems and processes more broadly to see if there is an opportunity to do better.”


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