Police medal winner Bob Wilson (circled) with his former police colleagues at Byron Bay before he retired from the force.
Police medal winner Bob Wilson (circled) with his former police colleagues at Byron Bay before he retired from the force.

Man dies over car park dispute

"I'LL never leave you. Don't you know I'll be with you for ever?"

Lisa Fayer remembered this vow as she sat on her sofa, tightly cuddling her sweetheart's jumper, hoping to feel close to him.

Her partner of eight months, Robert Alan Wilson, died in the Gold Coast Hospital early on Sunday.

The 55-year-old former police officer struck his head on a large rock in the front garden of the couple's unit in Goonellabah on Saturday, May 24, during a struggle with a 25-year-old neighbour over an ongoing parking dispute.

'It was such a stupid thing," Ms Fayer said about the argument.

"He was always good at helping. You see the sense in things and this is all so surreal. I think he just went into protective mode, but it wasn't worth losing a life over. And he'd say that. It's one of those freaky things.

"I feel sorry for the young guy next door. I told the police I just want him to know, as far as I'm concerned, I don't blame him."

Police have said they have no plans to lay charges over the fight that led to Mr Wilson's death.

It began as a joyous Saturday morning for the couple.

"We were going away that weekend to celebrate the decision we were going to be together," Ms Fayer, a 40-year-old palliative care nurse, said.

"We were in the car in the driveway ready to head off to Tenterfield, but I forgot the CDs on the table and ran back inside to get them. We loved to listen to music together.

"The neighbour came out and was saying something about the parking problem and I confronted him.

"He was in my face and I think Bob thought I was being threatened. It was just so stupid."

As he lay in the hospital in an induced coma, Ms Fayer held his face, whispered in his ear and told him she loved him.

"I lived and slept in the waiting room at the hospital for five days while he was in intensive care," she said.

"I needed to stay with him, I needed him to fight, and I was not going to leave him, not going to give up on him. The staff at the hospital fought to save him to the very end."

Ms Fayer met Mr Wilson, or Wilso as he liked to be called, when she took up swimming at a local gym.

"I met him a few years ago when I took up swimming and I couldn't swim a lap," she said.

"He encouraged me to keep swimming and a while later we started going out for coffee at Caddies.

"We got closer and closer. He moved up from Evans Head to live with family in Richmond Hill and gradually he just moved in here."

Mr Wilson was born in Sydney and came to the Northern Rivers in his 20s to work as a builder. He later joined the police force and served for 20 years, mostly in Byron Bay. He was awarded the NSW Police Medal in 2004 and retired from the force in the same year.

Byron Bay Inspector Owen King said Mr Wilson was a well-respected police officer and the entire police community was saddened by his loss in such tragic circumstances.

Mr Wilson started work at Trinity Catholic College a year ago, and last month was given a full-time position as head of maintenance.

Ms Fayer celebrated her 40th birthday the week before the accident.

"That morning we were going to Tenterfield for a picnic and up to Glen Innes to a sapphire jeweller, where he was going to buy me a ring for my birthday and to commemorate our decision to be together. I'm still going to do that trip, and I might even buy myself that ring to remember him."

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