Stuart Kelly’s Parents Say His Death Was Linked To “Catastrophic” Hazing

The parents of Stuart Kelly have told 60 Minutes they believe his tragic death was linked to intense bullying and hazing he suffered after the random one-punch killing of his brother, Thomas. 
Stuart took his own life in 2016, four years after Thomas was assaulted in Kings Cross by Kieran Loveridge. 
The Kelly family was instrumental in calling for tougher restrictions on alcohol in Sydney’s CBD after his death, and that push contributed to the city implementing its controversial lockout laws. 
Stuart also spoke on behalf of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, advocating for something to be done about random, drunken violence in the city. 
The family received death threats after those laws came into place, and friends of Stuart reported he received horrific bullying as part of a backlash to the measures. 

Now, Ralph and Kathy Kelly have spoken on the months before Stuart’s death, including the night he spent at St Paul’s College after being accepted into Sydney University. 

While it’s not clear what exactly happened during that time, Ralph said “he got in the back of the car when we picked him up eighteen hours after spending the night there, and something had changed. He’d changed.”

“We hadn’t seen him cry since Thomas died,”
Kathy added.
“He was just sobbing uncontrollably. And he came home, went into his room, and basically didn’t come out for the next couple of months.

“So you can only assume something catastrophic happened to him, to make him feel the way he did.”

She voiced her opinion that the two deaths were inextricably linked, saying “a hundred percent, if Thomas had not been killed, then Stuart would be here today. Without a doubt.” 

At this point, we feel we should reiterate the obvious: it’s possible to oppose legislation without resorting to horrific abuse of a family doing what they think will stop tragedies befalling other Australians.
Since Stuart’s death, the family has broadened its message to one of mental health awareness. Ralph said “we started to understand it’s an epidemic in Australia, depression is an epidemic.”
“There was all that to look forward to,” Kathy said.

“How could he not see that?”
Source: 60 Minutes / Channel 9.
Photo: The King’s School / Facebook.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a mental illness, call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636. If you are in distress, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.