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Local News

Thomas Kelly's younger brother pleads "respect one another"

Thomas Kelly, Stuart Kelly and Kieran Loveridge.
"An absolute joke" is how Kathy Kelly described Kieran Loveridge's four-year jail sentence for the manslaughter of her son. Today the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal agreed it was "manifestly inadequate."
Loveridge, the Sydney youth who killed teenager Thomas Kelly with one punch in Kings Cross, will now serve a minimum jail sentence of seven years and two months for Thomas' manslaughter and a total sentence of 10 years for the alcohol-driven spree of random assaults he inflicted on people.
Chief Justice Tom Bathurst said, "This was a case in which the respondent's offences were sudden, violent and unprovoked. His victims were chosen at random as they moved peacefully about their business in a public place.
"The alcohol-fuelled nature of the respondent's actions was also significant, given the contemporary prevalence of this type of offending and the considerable community disquiet around it."
It is "bitter sweet" for the Kelly family, who will mark the anniversary of Thomas' death in just a few days' time.
"It's difficult - there is no celebration today," Ralph Kelly, Thomas' father, told reporters outside the court.
"You can't balance a life with years in jail. It's very bitter sweet as we're three days away from the anniversary of Thomas' death."
Stuart, the younger Kelly brother, spoke publically for the first time. The third young male at the centre of this tragedy, the 16-year-old used his time in front of the media to become "a messenger of change."
"I lost my brother to alcohol-fuelled violence," Stuart said.
"I can tell you first-hand to experience this kind of pain at such a young age is too hard.
"It is my generation and yours, it's ours to begin this conversation at home across the dinner table, in our schools, our universities and among peer groups. You too can be a messenger of change.
"I will miss Thomas deeply for the rest of my life but somehow I know he will always be there by my side just as he was during the 14 years we had together.
He pleaded for the community to show each other respect.
"I want Thomas's short life to have some meaning in his death, so that we can see change - a new fresh start.
"I believe we should have respect for one another, for our friends, family, acquaintances, different cultures and complete strangers.
"A culture where we accept responsibility for our actions - not one where we all too often lay the blame on our past as an excuse for what we do today."

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