"The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained."
Those were the words that the father of Thomas and Stuart Kelly wrote on his Facebook page last night after the unbearable news that their second son had died.
It was announced yesterday that 19-year-old Stuart Kelly, the younger brother of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly, had died.
Yesterday, Dr Tim Hawkes, the headmaster of The King’s School, which Stuart attended, released a statement. He said: “The exact circumstances surrounding his death are not known, however, it is enough to know that we have lost a member of our community and therefore our thoughts and prayers go out to Kathy and Ralph Kelly and their daughter Madeleine.”
Today the news became even worse, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that Stuart took his own life in the wake of ongoing bullying thanks to his stance on lockout laws.
Stuart was just 14 when his older brother, then 18, was killed in an unprovoked attack in King’s Cross in 2012. Last year he relived that horrific night at a gala dinner, where he called for a tougher stance on alcohol-related violence.
In front of an audience of 700 people, including the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Stewart recalled the devastating moment he was told his brother wouldn’t make it.
“‘Your brother Thomas is in a critical condition and will not survive’.
I was being told to prepare for his death. Those few words would change our lives forever. I don’t remember too much more of what they said. I was in shock and total disbelief. I heard those terrible words but was feeling that this could not be real, this could not be happening to Tom. I could not process this as our reality.”
He also said, “Action is needed through strong leadership from the NSW state government and the federal government. Action is needed by our friends and our families across all of our communities. Change to stop the growing epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse and misuse and to saying no to senseless violence.
“Premier will you make this promise tonight? Australia is an alcoholic; we need to rethink the way we drink. Tonight your involvement and your voice can and will make a difference.”
The NSW Government has since tightened lockout laws and introduced mandatory sentencing for alcohol-induced offences.
Friends have told The Daily Telegraph that Stuart has since been the victim of bullying, torment and hate mail.
The Daily Telegraph is also reporting that Stuart, a bright and “gutsy” teenager, was accepted into university but decided to postpone his university studies at the last moment.