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Tributes for mother Emma Lovell killed in alleged North Lakes home invasion, with fresh calls for tougher youth crime laws

A shocking killing north of Brisbane on Boxing Day has reignited calls for a crackdown on youth offenders.

Two boys, both aged 17, have been charged with the murder of Emma Lovell, a mother of two who was fatally stabbed in the chest on her front porch on Monday night.

They have also been charged with the attempted murder of Ms Lovell's husband, Lee, who was also stabbed in the back at the North Lakes home.

Their matters were briefly heard in a Brisbane court this morning before being adjourned until January 16.

Mr and Ms Lovell were defending their home from the alleged offenders, who had allegedly broken in during the night.

A 16-year-old and 17-year-old boy questioned by police after the attack have been charged with unrelated offences and released.

Police had prior contact with all four teenagers and police sources have told the ABC at least one of the alleged killers was on bail when the couple was stabbed.

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said the circumstances leading up to the teenagers going to the North Lakes home was still under police investigation.

"We need to know why the young people were in that street at that particular hour on that particular night and that's under investigation and they're not matters that I'm going to comment on," she said.

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli described the incident as "shocking, alarming and soul-destroying".

Mr Crisafulli, who has repeatedly called for tougher penalties for youth offenders, said the tragedy would "rock the state".

Mr Crisafulli urged the state government to respond with tougher legislation.

"They have to listen to the solutions. They have to make breach of bail an offence. There must be consequences for actions. We've got to stop the carnage," Mr Crisafulli said.

'We made significant changes'

Police Minister Mark Ryan on Wednesday defended the government's record on tackling youth crime, which he said was a "complex and challenging issue".

"We have also seen over the reforms that the government's delivered over the last few years an increase in the number of young people who are being held in custody held in custody for longer," he said.

"But I also want to acknowledge that there are instances where crime, despite the best efforts of everyone, happens and it has tragic and confronting and distressing outcomes, and we've got to condemn that in the strongest possible terms."

Superintendent John Hallam says police investigation has so far not found any prior relationship between the alleged attackers and victims of the North Lakes stabbing.

Youth Justice Minister Leanne Linard on Tuesday said the law was strong when it came to young offenders.

"We made significant changes, including introducing a presumption against bail last year and that has seen more young people held in detention and held for longer because we know the community has a right to feel safe.

"We know that when breach of bail was in law, there was not one young person who served one extra day because of that. It doesn't work – the courts didn't apply because it didn't work."

Police Superintendent John Hallam acknowledged a "whole of community challenge" in the "youth justice space".

"We can't arrest our way out of this," he said.

"We're working together with other government agencies and the community and non-government agencies to make the system a safer place and better for these children."

Tributes are continuing on social media for the mother of two

Mr Lovell shared a post about his wife on his Facebook page, with dozens of friends and family expressing their sorrow at his wife's death.

"We talked every day, morning and night time zone. Waking up this morning knowing that the first message I get wouldn't be hers and going to bed tonight will be as hard as last night because the message wouldn't be from you telling me to get my backside to bed," close friend Christina Lofthouse wrote.

"I promise you Emmie that I will look after your daughters and always be there for them for everything they need or want. I will be here for Lee too as he navigates a world without you," she said.

"Heartbroken and in total disbelief. My heart is aching. Fly high beautiful Emma Lovell. Such a wonderful mum with a beautiful soul. You will be forever missed," Christina Nelson said.

Colleague Margot Brennan said her "heart is broken" and remembered Ms Lovell as "loved by so many people".

A fundraiser has been set up in the Lovell family’s name. 

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