An Australian man has been charged with murdering his three young daughters, their mother and their grandmother in Perth, police have said, describing the incident as an "atrocity and tragedy".
           
Anthony Robert Harvey, 24, was charged with the murder of his twin two-year-old girls, their sister, 3, their mother, 41,and their grandmother, 73, in the west coast city on 3 and 4 September.

Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told reporters Mr Harvey stayed at a house in a remote town about 1,500 km away from the crime scene for several days before turning himself in to police on Sunday.

Commissioner Dawson did not suggest a motive for the attack but said "a blunt instrument and knives" were used. He also did not specify whether Mr Harvey and the children's mother were married.
           
The accused is not required to enter a plea in court at this stage.
           
Dawson said the children and their mother were apparently killed on 3 September, and the woman's mother when she came to the house the following day.
           
"No matter that most of us did not know this immediate family, there's a sense of shock and at times even anger at what has taken place," Dawson said.
           
The attack was an "atrocity and tragedy", he added.

Mr Harvey is not required to enter a plea at this stage. He has been remanded in custody to appear again on 19 September.

Violent crime with multiple victims is rare in Australia but this was the third incident involving several members of a family in Western Australia this year.

In May, seven members of a family people were shot and killed in the state.
           
Gun crime in Australia fell sharply after strict gun controls were introduced in response to a mass shooting in 1996,when a lone gunman killed 35 people in Tasmania.