18-year-old face of NSW lockout laws takes his own life

HAZING rituals and merciless bullying over lockout laws pushed Stuart Kelly to take his own life, his heartbroken parents believe.

In an emotional interview with Channel Nine's 60 Minutes last night, Ralph and Kathy Kelly revealed that their son Stuart - brother of one punch victim Thomas - had become depressed and withdrawn after attending St Paul's College at Sydney University.

The family became the face of Sydney's lockout laws after Thomas was killed in a one punch attack in July 2012 aged 18.

Stuart died also aged 18 in July 2016 after taking his own life.

Ms Kelly revealed after spending just 18 hours at St Paul's College Thomas was a "changed person".

"He was one of the really popular kids, and he went off to university at Sydney, for one night at a college, and he came home a different person the following day. You know, it just changed him, he was broken," Ms Kelly said.

The DPP successfully appealed Loveridge's four-year sentence for the fatal punching of Thomas Kelly in July 2012 and he will now spend three additional years in jail with his earliest release being in November 2022.
The DPP successfully appealed Loveridge's four-year sentence for the fatal punching of Thomas Kelly in July 2012 and he will now spend three additional years in jail with his earliest release being in November 2022. AAP Image - Dean Lewins

"We hadn't seen him cry since Thomas died, so to see he was just sobbing, uncontrollably, and he came home and he went into his room and he basically didn't come out for the next couple of months, so you can only assume that something catastrophic happened to him that made him feel the way he did."

The family said the prestigious College had failed to tell them anything about what had happened to Thomas, but they believed he was targeted by hazers.

Ms Kelly said the family had received vicious death threats over their support for the lockout laws.

In 2015, Stuart became the subject of attacks after he gave a moving speech at the Take Kare gala dinner about how alcohol-fuelled violence had torn apart his family.

"I don't think we ever would've ever considered allowing him to get up and make that speech, had we thought that this would've been the outcome," Ms Kelly said.

Parramatta Eels and West Tigers players will wear SK initials on their jerseys for their clash on July 23 in hour of "Stay Kind Day" a suicide awareness imitative set up in honour of Stuart.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Originally published as One night at uni destroyed Stuart

News Corp Australia


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