Anthony Joseph SECCULL
late of Burrumbuttock, NSW
brother to former member Det. Pat Seccull 18112
New South Wales Police Force
Academy Class 260
Regd. # 29948
Rank: Sergeant – Retired
Stations: Waverley, Maroubra, Nyngan ( early 2000 ), Wagga Wagga ( returned to Uniform to Prosecutors upon his own request ), Albury as a Prosecutor – Retirement
possibly worked as a Prosecutor with DPP after retirement from NSWPF
Service: From ? ? 1994 to 2 February 2012 ( Medical Discharge ) = 19 year Service
Awards: No find on It’s An Honour
Born: 8 August 1975
Died on: Wednesday 1 February 2017
Cause: Suicide – firearm ( not a Police firearm )
Event date: Wednesday 1 February 2017
Funeral location: Burrumbuttock
Funeral date: Wednesday 15 February 2017 @ 11am
Funeral location: St Patricks Catholic Church, 515 Smollett St, Albury
Buried at: Cremated
Memorial at: Tony Seccull Award. Internal Award for Police Prosecutors – commenced in 2017
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
It is believed that Tony, by all accounts a really great bloke and collegue to many Police, took his own life by firearm at his property at Burrumbuttock, NSW ( between Henty & Corowa ).
Tony was the youngest of 8 ( 7 boys and 1 girl ) and dearly loved by his family.
He was in Nyngan, GD’s early 2000’s, when he was called to a domestic dispute on a remote rural property. As he and his partner drove up the driveway, with the western sun behind them, the elderly farmer fired shots at the police vehicle with a high calibre rifle. They were pinned down for a time. When back up arrived, and the offender absconded, Tony was put on a road block, late in the night on his own! He told me that that situation ( he would have been in a serious state of shock ), had a very negative impact on him mentally…. he didn’t know where the shooter was!! When the offender was eventually arrested and interviewed – he made admissions to trying to shoot Tony – stating (I am told)…if the sun wasn’t in my eyes I would have got him. Tony saw the transcript. Attempted murder etc charges were not pursued (DPP decision) – discharge firearm recklessly type charges only. That really upset Tony, long term.
With great support from Lola Scott (unbelievable support), we were able to see Tony moved into Prosecuting. All went well for nearly 15years…. until one day at pistol re-accreditation in Albury, (I am told), he became upset and the demons surfaced. He was admitted into hospital – 8 weeks. Reluctantly, he lodged a HOD claim. He nominated me as his proxy/negotiator with NSW Police. That process was very challenging…for all involved. Thanks to great support from Frank Reitano, we were able to negotiate settlement. However, the impact of that battle with the insurance company – ongoing after his discharge (2/2/2012), was debilitating. I watched him struggle over the past 5 years. He told me towards the end, that he ‘just wished he could have been able to retire’. He was tired and exhausted. He now rests in peace.
18 years in the job – the job caused his seriously depressed state of health.
I do not know this man, but make the following comment:
This is just a small insight into some of the events that Police generally have to deal with and very little thought is given to their overall health or state of mind, during or after such events.
People react differently to the same event. This, from my own experience, stems from their own personal upbringing, other life events, their own mental or coping capabilities, and how much mental effort they put into “the job”. Some see it as just a job, most see it as a career but most, if not all, put their heart and sole into “the job”. What effects one person does not necessarily affect another.
The fear of Police being “victimised” if they speak up about their lack of coping with a situation weights extremely heavy upon the shoulders of those police, for they love “the job” they are doing and don’t want to be removed from that job but hope they can push through their current situation and it will eventually “go away” with no-one noticing any difference in the person. Sometimes it does “go away” but most times, such as in Tony’s situation, it came back many years later at a re-accreditation pistol shoot, which, for this man, was the “trigger” that pushed him over the edge of his personal coping mechanism.
How many Police are still on the front line unaware that an unforeseen “trigger” is about to impact their life, their mental wellbeing?
How many former Police are unaware that an unforeseen “trigger” is about to impact their life, their mental wellbeing and how long is too long for this “trigger” to happen to someone? 5, 10, 20, 30 years after ” the job “? Has your “trigger” already happened?
There needs to be better support for Serving and Former Police ( not forgetting all the other Emergency Services too ).
Those suffering don’t need to feel the “carpet pulled from under them” = disappointment. They need to be understood, positively reassured and the process explained to them in terms they can understand, at that time, because no matter how strong you are ( mentally ), if you have the “carpet pulled from under” you and you can’t understand why, then you ARE going to fall because of your lack of understanding or seeing a positive outcome.
Those suffering from Depression / PTSD need to know that they are still “worthy” for here was a man, on the “front line” doing “the job” he loved who attended an event ( may very well have been more than just this event ) during his “career” only to be left to his own coping devices which were not enough for this man at that time.
Eventually, with the support of his Commander – Lola Scott, he found another niche’ within “the job” he loved or that suited him = and feeling “worthy” of ( prosecuting ); but even though this man was no longer on the “front line”, the demons of the 2002 event resurfaced years later – leaving the man depressed and being forced into a Medical Discharge instead of serving out his “career” and “retiring” at a mandatory age.
The man was 41 years old. He still had another 15 – 20 years of his “career” to look forward to. This was cut short due to one of the many events that Police attend and just to add insult to injury, for a man who dedicated himself to a job where you gather “facts”, present them, they are processed, dealt with and then finally an outcome – this man, like hundreds of other Police – was victimised and belittled by an insurance company trying to save money instead of looking after the man in a timely manner.
Instead of the insurance company following through and supporting those that they insure, they purposely delay the process to the extent that even career criminals don’t have to suffer through the Courts.
The insurance company harasses, intimidate and purposely delay their obligation to the victim.
They do this by surveillance, constantly sending the victim to various doctors ( doctor shopping ) hoping that one doctor will contradict another, asking for various reports ( that have already been done and submitted ) and various other ploys over years in the hope that the victim will finally decide that the process far outweighs the benefit and that the victim will withdraw their claim.
ALL of this has a detrimental effect upon the victim who already feels “worthless”.
Insurance companies and the Police Force ( as an organisation ) need to “lift their game” and ensure that these men and women are treated with the Commitment, Value and Loyalty that they, as Police, gave to our country over so many years.
This man, Tony SECCULL, like so many before him and ( no doubt at this time ) so many after him, should have lived a long, happy life in their community, with their family and friends. He should have died with distinction, of old age, not from fear or persecution leading to depression.
This man deserves his name to be etched in the NSW Police Wall of Remembrance – for he didn’t die instantly at the hand of a criminal but died over many years from two institutions that didn’t look after the man.
He should have been resting in life but May he now and Forever – Rest In Peace.
The next award has been recently instituted by the Seccull family in loving memory of former police prosecutor Tony Seccull, who after an 19 year career, tragically took his own life on the 1st February 2017.
Tony was a proud, diligent and committed police officer who joined in 1994. The last 12 years of his career he battled daily with unresolved stress and horrors which had accumulated from a number of traumatic incidents he attended. However, despite this, he went on to become a highly regarded senior prosecutor with 12 years experience, who gained promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
The Seccull family are committed to ensure that positive initiatives arise from his tragic and devastating loss. In Tony’s memory, the family wishes to raise and maintain awareness of the need for each one of us, to be vigilant and be prepared to take steps when a fellow worker appears to be in need of help or support to deal with the challenges of life
Late policeman’s brother vows to help those struggling
THE BROTHER of an Albury policeman who took his own life after a battle with post traumatic stress disorder is helping others in the force who are struggling.
Tony Seccull, 41, followed in the footsteps of his older brother Patrick ( # 18112 ) when he joined NSW Police as a young man.
The father of one lost his battle at his Burrumbuttock property on February 1, leaving a gap in his large family that will always be there.
Patrick, who has also worked as an Albury policeman and has had his own fight with the disorder, said his brother died about five years to the day after his discharge from the force.
By the end of his service, Tony was worn out and just wanted to retire without the grinding stress caused by the police insurance company.
The actions of the police insurer when Tony filed a hurt on duty claim and decided to leave the force were “pretty terrible”, according to his brother.
“He struggled with the pressures, particularly those imposed on him by the police insurance company,” he said.
“The insurance company kept pushing.
“That’s a common theme.”
Despite trying to help, Patrick feels somewhat responsible at the fact the 41-year-old followed his career path.
Tony was one of eight children and grew up in a hard-working family in Mulwala.
“He was 17 years younger than me … he was three years old when I joined the police,” he said
“As a result, all he ever wanted to do was be a police officer.
“He was such a caring, passionate and loving person.
“I think he probably internalised a lot of his work.
“The emergency services are a very, very tough gig and the people who are sensitive, and internalise, are often the ones who can fall foul of this disease.”
Mr Seccull links his brother’s PTSD to an incident early in his career, the full impact of which didn’t surface until a firearms training course on the Border sometime around 2010.
Tony had been stationed at Nyngan in central NSW in the early 2000s and like many times before, he was called to a domestic dispute.
But it was no ordinary call out, with a farmer firing shots from a high-powered rifle at Tony and his partner, leaving them pinned down.
The memory of the incident – coupled with other dangerous and horrific experiences – resurfaced at the shooting range all those years later and resulted in flashbacks, a mental breakdown and eight weeks of intensive therapy in hospital.
Patrick said the police force has some made positive steps towards helping officers suffering as a result of their work.
When he was an officer from the 1970s to 1990s, the advice was usually for members to have a drink and “harden up”, which was changing.
Patrick said often the first sign of trouble was when someone suffering isolated themselves from loved ones.
He noticed that in his brother.
When he died, Patrick vowed to help others.
There are no concrete statistics on the number of Border emergency service personnel who have taken their own lives, but The Border Mail is aware of three current or former Albury police members dying by suicide since late-2012.
While police feature prominently in suicide statistics, paramedics and firefighters, particularly men aged 30 to 49, also die in high numbers.
A National Coronial Information System report found 110 emergency workers took their own lives from July 2000 to the end of 2012.
An Albury officer who was recently medically discharged from the force after about 15 years of service said his life had fallen apart after a fatal incident.
The officer – who knew Mr Seccull and said he was a “top bloke” – said it was important to raise awareness of PTSD and its impact.
He has battled to rebuild his life and said there had been no support from NSW Police.
“Ultimately I lost my family life, health, friends, house and career due to PTSD resulting from this incident,” he said.
“I’ve paid an enormous price for just doing my job.
“Now in the wash up I don’t even have the job anymore.
“The thing is when you are in the grips of PTSD you don’t care about the risks or consequences of your behaviour, so things fall apart very quickly and because people don’t understand why you’re acting the way you are, you lose important relationships and support.”
Patrick stressed the importance of officers seeking help.
Albury Superintendent Evan Quarmby said support for officers was improving.
“There are lots of options open to police to get help for themselves and for the NSW police force to provide support,” he said.
“I think there’s certainly been an improvement in the way we identify and acknowledge these traumatic events.
“We take the welfare and the support of serving police very seriously.
“We are constantly looking for ways to help them with the difficult things that they’re exposed to and have to see in the course of their duties.”
Patrick joined Reconnect immediately after Tony died in a bid to make a positive out of the tragedy.
“The message is don’t suffer in silence,” he said.
“You’ve got support around you.
“Don’t isolate – that’s the biggest indicator for the family, when someone starts to isolate.
“I saw Tony isolate more and more.”
He believes his brother, who was married and had a young daughter who were supportive of him, mistakenly believed his actions would stop the “burden” he was placing on those around him.
“That perception was so wrong,” Patrick said.
“We, as a family, would like to make people who suffer this condition very aware that you’re not a burden to your family.”
The former Albury prosecutor is missed by many.
A perpetual award in the prosecutions division will carry his name.
“Part of me has gone,” Patrick said.
“He was my little brother, my littlest brother and we were very close.
“We were very, very close and I feel in some ways responsible, because he looked up to me and followed me into an occupation.
“I’ve got to live with that for the rest of my life.”
Despite his own struggles, Patrick can still see the positives.
“I want to make it very clear that life can be good, and life is good if we get the right support, no matter how bad the illness is” he said.
Those seeking help or information can contact Lifeline on 131 114.
Never knew his GD rank, only knew him for about 10 years as a prosecutor for the DPP.
We became family friends, shared home time & visits, dinners, drinks, the usual.
Saw him weekly when we operated the Cowra Crest Motel in Cowra NSW during the period 2000 – 1010, when he was a part of the judiciary court circuit servicing that area, and they all stayed with us.
So we were his hosts regularly and a friendship grew.
Tony has been very well and accurately described by others.
To us he was dedicated to his job and his family, taking full responsibility for both.
He was very professional and respected in all areas of social and work life.
Tony was a humble and talented man, hard working, diligent, caring and easy to like and respect.
While a Prosecutor, he requested and returned to GD in uniform in Wagga Wagga for a period in an effort to heal himself.
Unfortunately, he suffered severely with his breakdown, which was medically well documented and beyond doubt, but despite that he was then slowly crucified by the Police Service’s insurance system, which seemed to be designed to weed out malingerers while showing a total disregard for causing subsequent damage to the wellbeing of the genuinely sick or wounded, double victim.
Being the responsible person he was, that he suicided is testament to the damage and injury he suffered, and the inherent dangers of depression.
Long suffering casualties like Tony are no less deserving of the full support and respect of the Police Service as extended to those shot on the job.
Tony & Lynn Neale
Best Western Ambassador Motor Inn & Apartments,
313 Edward St,
Wagga Wagga. 2650
Phone: (02) 6925 7722
Anthony (Tony) Seccull
(8 Aug 1975 – 1 Feb 2017)
Dearly loved husband of Shantel. Loved Dad of Ella. Cherished son of Pat and Alicia.
Treasured brother of Patrick, Ann, David, Graham, Bernard (Dec), Philip and Paul.
Loved son in law of Rex and Alma
Forever In Our Hearts
Funeral Prayers for the late Anthony ‘Tony’ Seccull will be offered at St Patricks Catholic Church, 515 Smollett Street, Albury at 11am on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
Thereafter a private cremation.
Words cannot express to Shantel, Ella and family the heartfelt pain you must be going through over the loss of Tony. He was such an unassuming, intelligent and humorous gentleman…a guy who both my husband and I enjoyed working with in the NSW Police Force.
Tony often spoke proudly of his beautiful Ella at work and she was certainly his life.
Know Ella, your Daddy now watches over you as your special Angel, as I know he wouldn’t have it any other way…
our hearts go out to you Shantel, Ella and family…
please know Tony’s friends are here for you and we are also feeling his loss greatly…
Lorrae, Paul and Nylah Kovacs
Dearly loved husband of Shantel.
Loved Dad of Ella.
Cherished son of Pat and Alicia.
Treasured brother of Patrick, Ann, David, Graham, Bernard (Dec), Philip and Paul.
Loved son-in-law of Rex and Alma.
‘Forever In Our Heart’
Kate and Paul Stares.
Horse horror: Girl’s pet dies after attack
A GIRL’S pet horse has died after a horrific attack near Lake Hume.
Wodonga Police are hunting for those who fatally maimed Raghtoo, a recent present for 10-year-old Ella Seccull.
The girl’s father, retired Albury police officer Tony Seccull, said it was the worst thing he had seen done to an animal in 17 years of policing.
He offered a $2000 reward for information that leads to fruitful evidence in the case.
Police released this footage of Raghtoo.
NORTH Albury man Adam Gilbert Jolly was arrested by police in an early morning raid at his residence yesterday and subsequently charged with four offences relating to a girl’s alleged abduction at Wagga.
The six-year-old girl was allegedly abducted about 11.30am on February 14 and there have been extensive investigations by police since.
Strike Force Shell, comprising police from Wagga and the state’s Sex Crimes Squad, has been involved in the ongoing investigation which culminated in Jolly’s arrest soon after 8am yesterday.
Jolly, 28, appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday afternoon on charges of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 in circumstances of aggravation, assault with intent to have sexual intercourse in circumstances of aggravation, kidnapping and inflicting actual bodily harm and aggravated indecent assault. He was also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon of handcuffs which were found at his home.
Duty solicitor Chris Halburd said there was no application for bail and he sought an adjournment of the charges to Wagga Local Court next Monday.
No facts relating to the accusations against Jolly were tendered in court and his parents sat in the back of the court. Three Corrective Services officers were present in court for Jolly’s short appearance and he was remanded in custody by magistrate Gordon Lerve.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Tony Seccull sought a suppression order for the protection of the alleged victim. But Mr Lerve said legislation prevents the identification of sex assault victims. Mr Lerve asked whether Jolly sought an order to be held in protection, but Mr Halburd said he had no instructions regarding that. “I assume the authorities will take the appropriate action,” Mr Halburd said.
The girl was playing in her front yard when she was allegedly abducted on February 14. A man tucked her under his arm before bundling her into the back seat of a utility. Almost two hours later the girl was returned after the attacker dumped her in a nearby street.
Police initially identified a white Toyota Hilux utility as possibly being used in the abduction and the following weekend put a similar vehicle on display at the Wagga Marketplace in the hope of getting leads.
Police said they were led to Jolly after discovering a white Holden Colorado, a vehicle similar to the description of the car used in the abduction. It will be alleged the man lived in Wren Street, Mount Austin, at the time of the alleged attack.– The Border Mail
Man pleads guilty to library flash
A MAN who exposed his penis to a young woman in the Albury library last year faces sentence next week after pleading guilty to a charge of committing an indecent act.
Police prosecutor Sgt Tony Seccull said the offence by Vagg was at the high end of the scale.
Sgt Seccull said people should be able to go about their business in public without being subjected to such behaviour.
Vagg, 45, of Albury, pleaded not guilty to charges of committing an act of indecency and wilful and obscene exposure on October 19 last year.
When police spoke to him about the incident, Vagg admitted being at the library, but said: “I had a hernia protruding out. It comes up and I was just trying to push it down”.
Mr Hiatt yesterday heard evidence from police and the statements of three other witnesses were tendered before the victim gave evidence.
The victim, who turned 18 last year, attended the library about 11.30am on October 19 and sat at a table.
Vagg sat close to her and she moved a little, saying: “He was a bit close. I thought I might be in the way”.
He started reading a paper, began mumbling something and turned towards the woman.
The victim said she could see the top of his penis and he had both hands around it.
She said she “freaked out” and turned away after seeing him exposed for three or four seconds.
She grabbed her phone and walked quickly to the librarian’s desk and advised what had happened.
Vagg stood up and walked quickly out of the library, but police later obtained closed circuit footage from staff.
Solicitor Terrence O’Riain sought an adjournment to discuss the case with Vagg after the victim gave evidence.
Mr O’Riain a short time later advised that Vagg would plead guilty to committing an act of indecency.
Mr Hiatt said an options pre-sentence report considering community service and periodic detention would be
sought and sentencing was adjourned until next Tuesday.
Police threatened after chase
Martin Errol Price, 38, was refused bail at Albury Court yesterday after his arrest at Centro Lavington ended a dramatic chase — on foot and behind the wheel — in the crowded shopping precinct and on nearby residential streets.
The officers signalled for Price to pull over, but he accelerated away from them on Resolution Street and a pursuit ensued.
Price reached speeds of 90kmh in a 50kmh zone on Union Road, before police called off the pursuit when he ran a red light at the intersection of Urana and Sanders roads.
Soon after, another officer saw Price driving down Griffith Road, where he collided with another car, the court was told.
Police claim Price continued driving after the crash, which forced the Mitsubishi’s bonnet up, into the Centro Lavington car park.
On the upper level, Price grabbed a black backpack and ran from his car into the shopping centre, where he was chased by police.
An officer yelled for Price to stop when he was near Big W.
The court was told Price turned around and said, “Don’t come near me or I’ll stab you”.
He kept running and was arrested outside the centre.
A police search found he was carrying a Leatherman containing a knife.
A search of the car found a receipt for the vehicle for $400, which Price had paid in Canberra in June.
The number plates had allegedly been reported stolen by an ACT man in the same month.
Defence solicitor Andrea MacDonald said her client had moved to Albury six weeks ago to be closer to his daughter in Wagga.
Ms MacDonald said he had been undergoing counselling for drug and alcohol problems and had recently found work.
Police prosecutor Sgt Tony Seccull opposed bail, saying Price had a lengthy criminal record and was likely to be jailed if convicted of the fresh charges, which include assault police without actual bodily harm, custody of a knife in a public place, negligent driving, not giving particulars to other driver or police, displaying unauthorised number plates, using an uninsured and unregistered motor vehicle, unlicensed driving, driving in a dangerous manner, and dealing with the suspected proceeds of crime.
Price was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear before a magistrate today.