The grandfather and primary carer of Elijah Doughty has recalled a happy, popular boy who “just made one mistake, and paid with his life for it”.
The death of the 14-year-old boy sparked a protest outside the Kalgoorlie courthouse on Tuesday, when a 55-year-old man, who cannot be identified, was scheduled to appear on manslaughter charges.
The boy’s grandfather Albert Doughty has urged restraint and respect for the legal process.
“I don’t like to see violence, especially after a child had his life taken away from him,” he said.
“Respect the police, respect the buildings. Let justice take its course … you can’t bring him back to life, let it rest.”
But Mr Doughty said he understood how the unrest occurred.
“There’re no stones in the main street. They must have carried them with them. I don’t know. They’re just frustrated I think. [It’s] been bubbling up for a long time,” he said.
Mr Doughty said a lack of activities for young people in Kalgoorlie was causing social problems.
He said there ought to be more programs for young people in the town, particularly Indigenous youth.
“There’s nothing to do,” he said, with the exception of sport.
Elijah himself was a keen young sportsman who was “very popular” with his teammates, Mr Doughty said.
“[He was] happy, happy go lucky. Full of life. Just got himself a girlfriend,” he said.
The man charged with manslaughter appeared in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on Wednesday via video link from an undisclosed prison and had his case remanded until next month.
It is believed Elijah Doughty was riding a stolen motorcycle before a crash involving the bike and the accused man's utility in bushland off Clancy Street in Boulder.