From the moment Thomas Kelly’s parents, Ralph and Kathy, stepped in front of the media our hearts felt for this grieving family. They had the faces of parents I’d witnessed a thousand times before, the faces of parents who have just lost their child through an act of violence.
Over the past ten years I have worked with over 1,000 individuals and families bereaved by homicide. Many of them including a one-punch fatal assault such as Thomas Kelly’s, or like my father’s.
In just a few seconds in November 2000, my family’s lives changed forever when a 26-year-old male assaulted my then 49-year-old and 55 kilogram father. I waited, as the Kelly’s will, for weeks, for months and then years before the case proceeded to the Supreme Court with the offender charged with manslaughter.
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Parents of young adults everywhere in Sydney hate it when their children go to Kings Cross, the city’s party district. They loathe it.
They’ve got reason to. Every few Sundays local 6pm news bulletins broadcast vision of young people “going wild”, roaming the streets; the occasional fight.
And now a tragedy. Thomas Kelly, 18, was king-hit just walking down the street with a couple of female friends, one of them his new girlfriend, at 10pm on Saturday night. Totally unprovoked. He hit his head on the ground. He died last night.
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