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Grieving Kelly Parents Open Up About Their Teenage Son’s Suicide

"Something catastrophic happened to him"

Four years after losing their firstborn son, Thomas, his younger brother, 18-year-old Stuart, committed suicide.

The teen had spent just 18 hours at Sydney University. A day that his parents blame for their son’s death.

Stuart’s brother, Thomas, had been killed in a coward-punch attack during a night out in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2012, with grieving parents, Ralph and Kathy, saying their son was targeted because of Thomas’ death.

“He went off to university for one night at a college and he came home a different person the following day,” Kathy said on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.

“It just changed him, he was broken.”

Ralph and Kathy say their teenage son spent less than a day at the college, bursting into tears when they picked him up. 

“We hadn’t seen him cry since Thomas died… he was just sobbing uncontrollably,” Kathy recalled.

“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.”

Stuart and Thomas Kelly
Ralph, Thomas, Stuart, Maddie and Kathy Kelly

Stuart was 14 years old when his older brother died after being randomly punched in the head on a night out in Sydney.

“I carry a deep scar that you cannot see. It’s always there, it never leaves,” Stuart said in a famous speech in 2015 calling for an increase in penalties for offenders. 

The campaign and the death of a second one-punch attack victim, Daniel Christie, in 2013, led to controversial lockout laws being introduced in NSW.

Kathy says their family’s support for lockout laws had made them a target of abuse, including death threats.

“There were death threats and things like that to our family. What does that do to an 18-year-old?” Kathy said.

“I think 100 per cent if Thomas had not been killed then Stuart would be here today, without a doubt,” she continued.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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