Yesterday we heard the devastating news that Stuart Kelly, the little brother of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly, had passed away. Just five years after his “best friend” was unexpectedly and unfairly taken while walking down the street in King’s Cross, Stuart Kelly has taken his own life.
After the loss of his brother, Stuart had worked against alcohol-fuelled violence.
In a tragic twist, it’s the cruel backlash against his work for The Thomas Kelly Foundation, set up in his beloved brother’s memory to make our streets safer, that may have added to Stuart’s torment.
19-year-old Stuart was found on Sydney’s northern beaches on Monday after taking his own life. His death is not being treated as suspicious.
At a gala dinner for the foundation last year, Stuart spoke of the heartbreak and the “scar” that he carried with him.
“I look back at that moment: I was 14 years old, I was told by a stranger that my brother, my best friend, was going to die. Those few words would change my life forever,” Stuart said. “That was three years ago. However I carry a deep scar that you cannot see.
“It’s always there, it never leaves. It sits below the surface of your skin and surfaces when you least expect it.
“Tom never deserved to die that night, it was not meant to be his time; in fact I now believe that it could and should have been avoided.
“Our family lost a son and brother.”
The family, father Ralph, mother Kathy, Stuart and sister Madeline, formed a foundation to campaign against drug and alcohol-fuelled violence. The foundation’s advocacy led to the NSW Government tightening its lockout laws and introducing mandatory sentencing for violent, alcohol-hol-induced offenders.
After graduating from The King’s School, the bright, “gutsy” teen was accepted into the University of Sydney to study marine biology but deferred after just two days.
Close family friends told the Daily Telegraph Stuart was the victim of bullying, torment and endless hate mail as a result of the lockout laws’ enactment, which he was blamed for.
After the bullying, Stuart Kelly sought refuge at The King’s School and took on a coaching role with the school’s under 14s.
Friends yesterday described Stuart as “gutsy” and praised his strength and volition in his pursuit to end alcohol and drug-induced violence. It was a fight which led to Stuart becoming a finalist in 2014’s Pride of Australia awards.
Now, the Kelly parents are facing having to bury their second son in just over four years.
Such a devastating, tragic loss. Our thoughts are with the Kelly family during this difficult time. An important reminder.
If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, Mensline 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Source: The Daily Telegraph