This week, Kieran Loveridge was sentenced to 4 years jail for king hitting Thomas Kelly and killing him. This is another tragic case of a life taken too soon by some dude on an alcohol fuelled bender. The community is outraged at the ‘light’ sentence the offender has received and of course, this is not the first case of its type. This is where I get a bit funky.
In 2005, our Dad was out at the RSL club when he was approached by a man who asked him for a cigarette. Dad obliged, turned around and was hit in the back of the head with a pool cue. Dad dropped to the ground, got back up, fell back down and never regained consciousness. He was dead 10 days later. The offender was on an alcohol fuelled bender. Dad wasn’t the first person he fought that night and probably wasn’t the last but he was the one he killed. The offender was caught and tried for man slaughter and he received the full extent of the law – he received 10 years jail.
So when I hear these light sentences, I have a really mixed reaction. I feel for the victim’s family because they wanted more, they need more. They wanted the judiciary system to back them up. And I start to feel guilty. Guilty that Dads offender got the lot. Why was it him that got the lot. Was it his background? Was it the judge on the day? Was it the victim impact statements we had to write? Why should this family feel as though they have no support? Why didn’t this guy get the full extent of the law? Was it his background? Was it the judge on the day? Why why why?? You see what I mean?
Now I don’t know how you’re all going to take this next bit so just breathe and read on, I need to get this out there. I feel empathy for both the families of the victims and the offenders. You see, I chose to forgive Dads offender. Crazy some of you may say but if you carry that type of hate around, that shit’s gonna eat you up. Of course I will never forget what he has done, but I can forgive. He made a stupid decision that night and has the rest of his life to deal with that. He is also someones son. He may also be a brother, father, uncle – look I don’t know but at the end of the day, he is someones son that made a stupid life changing decision that night.
Deep breath….. so this has been a post that has been a long time coming. It is not something I think about everyday but it is always there. There’s probably more I need to get out but for now, all I can do is get the message out there and teach my kids that One Punch Can Kill.