As the Kelly family continues to grieve the loss of their second son, the family of one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge say he is not to blame for the family’s second tragedy.
Less than a week after 19-year-old Stuart Kelly took his own life after years of torment and bullying as he fought to change the NSW night culture, Mr Loveridge’s cousin has hit back on social media.
“There is no way in this world my cousin Kieran can take the blame for Stuart’s death as he did not intentionally kill him,” Karissa-Leigh Loveridge posted to social media.
Mr Loveridge was jailed for at least 10 years for his one-punch attack on Mr Kelly’s brother Thomas in 2012.
Thomas Kelly, 18, was killed by Mr Loveridge in an unprovoked, drunken attack which saw the NSW lock-out laws introduced in a bid to cut late-night violence.
“I just want to set a few things straight … Yes Kieran is doing his time for his actions. But to (sic) all you people who are judging and blaming Kieran I suggest you know the facts before listening to the media,” Ms Loveridge posted.
“Myself and my family are sorry for the loss of Stuart Kelly and completely understand the pain the family is going through.
“Stuart has been bullied over this and was also bullied for going to politicians regarding lock-out laws. Not that this is an excuse for Stuart’s death as no one deserves to die.
“But the public need to understand the Kelly parents did put this 16-year-old in front of the media and continued to do so as the years have gone on.
“I am not justifying my cousins’ actions but don’t just assume this is my cousin’s fault.”
Thomas’s brother Stuart was a vocal advocate for lock-out change, giving an emotional speech at an event last year where he recalled the moment doctors told him Thomas’s life support would be switched off.
"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,” he said at the time.
But just last week, after years of bullying and torment, Stuart ended his life.
Ms Loveridge’s post has since been deleted.