• Today marks one year since a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy was run down and killed in WA. (Supplied)
The heartbroken father and grandfather of Elijah Doughty will attend a memorial to mark a year since the teenage boy was run down and tragically killed in Western Australia.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber, Laura Morelli

29 Aug 2017 - 7:02 PM  UPDATED 29 Aug 2017 - 7:58 PM

 

Today’s date marks a grim day, especially for Darryl and Albert Doughty, who have been coping with the loss of a loved one for 12 months now.

The father and grandfather of Elijah Doughty will accompany several other family, friends and locals who are expected to attend the memorial at Dribble Creek, the reserve in Western Australia’s Goldfields region, where the teenage boy was run down and died.

He was just 14-years-old at the time.

Darryl left an interview with NITV News today in tears, unable to continue to speak as he dealt with the anguish of the loss of his son, fresh in his mind on the day that marked Elijah’s one year anniversary.

“I just want to get home… I can’t do it, I’m sorry, you don’t mind if I leave?” he asked before walking off sobbing.

Kalgoorlie Police charged the 42-year-old father over an incident at the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court yesterday.

Police allege Mr Doughty was subject to a security search with a metal detector wand by a male Court Security and Custodial Officer, but he failed to comply with the search and left the building.

“They could have put it on another date; they knew it was the anniversary of his death today."

As the father was walking outside the building, police claim he was seen acting ‘aggressively’ towards a member of the public and was instructed to leave.

He also allegedly assaulted an officer causing minor injuries. He was charged with assault and released on bail after appearing at court today where he pleaded not guilty. He is due to appear in court again on September 6.

A video of the incident was posted on Facebook.

ALSWA Court Officer acting on behalf of Mr Doughty, Murray Stubbs, had his request to view CCTV footage accepted and it is expected to take a week to be reviewed.

“It’s not too good for me to be locked up, I’m upset but there’s not much you can do about it,” the father said.

Elijah’s grandfather, Albert Doughty says it’s shocking timing for the court date to be happening.

“They could have put it on another date; they knew it was the anniversary of his death today."

Albert believes Aboriginal people are targeted in the local community.

“You can’t drive a car without being pulled over. They [police] follow you home; they breathalyse you three to four times a day. You’ve got to put up with all sort of harassment around here. If you’re Aboriginal you’ve got to prove what’s yours.”

"Applauding his death gives people a license to kill.”

In the lead up to Elijah’s anniversary, he says the police harassment has been worse than usual.

Having to come to terms with the death of his grandson and attending his memorial has been heartbreaking. Albert says it’s bringing back memories, but ultimately its ‘history repeating itself’.

“Today I just want to go down to the creek where Elijah lost his life and keep him in my memory. Everyone’s still hurting, our family…Aboriginal people grieve for long times, not just for 12 months but for life.”

Albert is furious that people continue to ‘applaud what happened to Elijah’ on social media.

“All the non-Aboriginal people are laughing at this, it’s just a side show. All this rubbish is already back on social media. Things like black, dirty, mongrel kill him, run him down, and scum – all of this…They’re applauding what that guy did to Elijah.”

When it comes to compassion and respect, Albert says it’s a lost cause.

“You can’t do anything when a white person says a 14-year-old boy deserved to be run over and killed. They’re not going to listen to you. You can’t charge them so you can’t do nothing about it,” he explained.

“I feel helpless. I just say don’t read it, delete it. This sort of stuff, applauding his death, affects everyone. It gives people a license to kill.”

Elijah’s death caused several violent clashes from local communities who were outraged by the unfortunate series of events and angered by the treatment of Aboriginal youth in remote communities. When the man charged with Elijah’s manslaughter first appeared at the Kalgoorlie courthouse last year, there was also a brutal scuffle with police injured and nearby shops were forced to close.

The teenager, who wasn't wearing a helmet, tumbled under the car after the impact and died instantly from severe injuries to his neck, chest, pelvis and right leg, a fractured skull, and bruised lungs.

Earlier this year, a jury in the supreme court of Western Australia, found Elijah’s death was not manslaughter but a case of dangerous driving causing death. The judge then sentenced the 56-year-old driver, whose two-tonne 4WD ran over the top of Elijah, who was riding a 70cc motorcycle, to three years’ jail.

The man conceded he had been driving too close and didn't have time to stop, admitting that was unsafe.

For the last year, Elijah’s friends, community and most importantly, his family have been dealing with the tragic battle of coming to terms with losing a loved one.

For most people, the process of loss is challenging, but for Elijah’s family, the loss of a young teenage boy has been devastatingly heartbreaking.

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