Family not certain teen died alone

A LISMORE reverend and family friend of Alex Wildman says there was nothing to indicate the teenager was suicidal the night before he died.

Reverend Garry Dronfield, from Lismore’s Uniting Church, has told an inquest into the Goonellabah boy’s death last year the news was a total shock.

The 14-year-old had wanted to go for a bike ride on the night before he was found dead in the family garage when Rev Dronfield, who has been a youth worker for a decade, dropped by for a cup of tea.

“Even after all that training, I picked up nothing that were signs of what we would have learned in training,” he told the Ballina inquest before the deputy state coroner Malcolm MacPherson.

“It was very much a shock for me the next morning when I got the phone call.”

The third day of the inquest into the Kadina High School student’s death today also heard from his step-father, Bill Kelly, who maintains he heard voices around the house the night Alex took his own life.

Mr Kelly said he was still not sure that Alex died on his own.

Both Mr Kelly and Alex’s mother, Justine Kelly, were cross examined by the education department’s counsel about the family’s mental health history.

The inquest continues tomorrow.


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