The skeletal remains of Patrick Hearn, 80, a 40 year veteran of Victoria Police, was discovered this month under shrubs next to busy Hight St.
Family claim Patrick Hearn left home to die because euthanasia is illegal.
A FORMER police superintendent missing for almost three years wandered off from his family and lay under a bush in suburban Melbourne to die because euthanasia is illegal, his family claims.
The skeletal remains of Patrick Hearn, 80, a 40-year veteran of Victoria Police, was discovered this month under shrubs next to busy High St in Lower Templestowe.
The discovery shocked residents and officials in the heavily populated area.
Mr Hearn, who suffered depression and had told his family he didn’t want to burden them or end up in a retirement home, disappeared on June 6, 2007, the 38th anniversary of the day he met his wife Sally.
Mr Hearn left his home in the early hours of the morning with some medication and never returned.
Sally Hearn said Patrick died a cold and lonely death because of the illness he suffered and his decision not to break the law.
“We all say if voluntary euthanasia had been legal we could have all been with him and he could have gone peacefully, not exhausted, lonely, cold and wet on that awful night of rain and frost,” Mrs Hearn told the Manningham Leader last week.
Son Royden Hearn said his father was an “old school” man who chose not to tell his family or say a final goodbye because he would have been prevented from leaving.
“He decided to write his own chapter and he did … if euthanasia wasn’t such a huge crime he probably would have been able to sit in his favourite armchair and say goodbye,” he said.
Leighton John McQUADE
Leighton John McQUADE
( Late of Boro formerly of Blackbutt )
New South Wales Police Force
Academy Class DPP 5
[alert_yellow]Regd. # 33903[/alert_yellow]
Rank: Senior Constable – Medical Discharge HOD – PTSD
Stations: ?, Warilla ( Lake Illawarra / Oak Flats ) TAG Unit,
Service: From 12 May 2000to6 January 2011 ( Medically retired 2013 ) =13+ years Service
Awards: Local Area Command Commendation – Lake Illawarra – 2008
Leigh, prior to joining NSW Police, worked at Appin Mine and later became a Senior Constable at Lake Illawarra ( Oak Flats ) Police Station for many years.
On the morning of Thursday 18 August 2016, he was found deceased at his property at Boro near Braidwood, NSW, resulting from an overdose.
Leigh had recently ‘sold up’ in the Illawarra and moved to his property to make a fresh start in life – but, sadly, the demons continued to follow him after a previous suicide attempt some years earlier.
May you forever Rest In Peace mate. You were a good bloke.
McQUADE Leighton John (Leigh)
Passed away on 18th August, 2016.
Late of Boro formerly of Blackbutt.
Dearly beloved Dad of Taylah and Maddison.
Loving and thoughtful Son of Tom & Lyn.
Much loved Brother of Shane and Dan.
Loved Grandson of Jack & Ellie (both dec) and Arthur & Sarah (both dec).
Will be sadly missed by his many Aunties, Uncles, Cousins and Friends.
Aged 43 Years
Your Memory Is Our Greatest Treasure
To Have And To Hold In Our Hearts Forever
The relatives and friends of Leigh are invited to attend his Funeral Service to be held at the Northcliffe Chapel of Hansen & Cole, 634 Northcliffe Drive, Kembla Grange on Monday 29th August, 2016 commencing at 10am. At the conclusion of the Chapel Service the funeral will proceed to Lakeside Cemetery for burial.
In lieu of flowers donations are invited to Beyond Blue. A bowl will be provided at the Chapel door.
Illawarra sisters speak out after cop dad’s suicide
Leigh McQuade had no trouble staring down the hardest of criminals and never thought twice about throwing himself in the line of fire.
His police academy training supplied him with the tools necessary to bring down the toughest of crooks and soothe the hearts of the most broken victims.
But no one taught Senior Constable McQuade how to tackle the black dog that terrorised him. The wild beast that has brought down far too many NSW cops, got him too.
Maddison and Taylah McQuade are now left wondering why no one could help their dad – the brave Illawarra cop who took his own life, aged 43.
‘’When dad began to get sick, I was quite young so I wasn’t entirely aware of what was going on but as I grew up I learnt what the basics were … his anxiety affected the daily things that he used to be able to do so carefreely,’’ Maddison said.
‘’It wasn’t until after his death that I actually researched what PTSD actually entails, and it just blew me away to believe how an individual can suffer so much.’’
Maddison said police officers entering the force should be better supported for the mental struggles they could face.
‘’They should sit them down and say ‘hey you might have to learn to fire this gun but you also need to learn how to mentally deal with seeing deceased bodies, by being able to save people and all the horrific things that are on the cards’.
‘’It’s pretty evident that there’s not much of that.’’
The McQuade girls are angry their family was ‘’kept in the dark’’ with no support or education on how to help their dad during his six year-struggle before he was medically retired in 2013.
‘’Everyone puts so much crap on cops … but they put up with some inhumane sights, they are suffering,’’ Maddison said.
‘’There is minimal awareness, support and education about PTSD and these types of diseases.
’’If any good can come of Dad’s death it would have to be to try and help those suffering before it’s too late because I could never wish this pain on anyone.
‘’It’s too horrific to lose someone you love to a disease that they didn’t deserve. There could be so much more support.’’
As the McQuade family struggles to move on without Leigh, they still feel the support is lacklustre.
‘’Even now we haven’t been provided much help, we were assisted with NSW Police Association counselling with only three appointments and as I’ve been going through my HSC they ‘couldn’t’ help me with paperwork to explain why I need privileges,’’ Maddison said.
‘’It was horrible, all the stuffing around and telling stories to people who claimed they were there to help but never did.’’
Brave cop ill-equipped to battle his demons
The death of an Illawarra police officer has again highlighted the dire need for better support for emergency service workers suffering mental health issues, Greens Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said.
The MP is taking their fight to Parliament on Monday.
Lake Illawarra Senior Constable Leigh McQuade took his own life in August after years of battling debilitating symptoms of PTSD. He went from a loving, happy dad with a close-knit group of friends, to an isolated, withdrawn man who drank excessively to ‘’coat the pain’’.
His daughters Maddison and Taylah remember feeling helpless and on ‘’high alert’’ for a trigger that could end in a bad episode for their dad.
‘’I understand in the job there’s tragedies of deaths with accidents, murders, drug busts … but criminals get assistance and the opportunity to rehabilitate,’’ Maddison said.
‘’No assistance is given to these police officers that suffer PTSD and other mental illnesses and diseases. Their only escape from it is to end it, usually with suicide.’’
Mr Shoebridge said the story was all too familiar. ‘’First responders, whether police, firefighters or paramedics, see things and deal with trauma that is almost unthinkable for most of us, and it happens to them on a daily basis’’.
“For police in particular the lack of organisational support while they are in the force is then magnified by the complete absence of support once a psychologically injured officer leaves the force,’’ Mr Shoebridge said. “The fact is once an injured officer leaves it is their family, their spouse and children, who take on the burden and suffer the impacts of the injury. Theirs is an often unspoken need and it is well past time it was addressed.’’
Berrick Boland, a former police officer who runs a support page for injured police officers and the families of those who have died, says the issue of suicide is hidden from public view.’’
In NSW you are better positioned if you are a dead greyhound than an injured or deceased policeman or emergency services government employee,’’ Mr Bolland, the administrator of the Forgotten 000s Facebook page says.
A NSW Police Association spokeswoman said a new Police Legacy program was available to officers and families called BACKUP for Life. The Government has committed $500,000 annually over the next four years for the program to ‘’design, implement and manage post service support strategies for former NSW police officers and immediate families’’.
The Association runs a CARE Program and promotes Beyondblue’s ‘‘Good Practice Framework for Mental Health and Wellbeing in First Responder Organisations’’.
Illawarra cops pay tribute to struggling friend
The NSW Police Force can hold themselves responsible for Leigh’s death, an unnamed colleague said.
‘’He left there with a messed-up head and not any kind of support. He had so much anger and hurt in his heart, this wouldn’t have come as no surprise to anyone who knew him. And as a police officer he managed to have care and respect for the people he was forced to arrest.
‘’More than any police officer EVER he cared for the families and genuinely wanted to see positive change in people and always done his absolute best to give people a second chance.
‘’No police officer will ever live up to his standards. R.I.P mate save that beer for us when we see you again.’’
Another colleague said: ‘’Leigh worked in the Lake Illawarra TAG Unit, now it’s called the proactive crime unit. It was very busy, non stop.
‘’Work involved drug raids, DNA hits targeting high-risk offenders … ,’’ the officer said.
‘’He was in the face of crooks, searching people, brawls … he was a great bloke with a good heart.’’
Anyone needing support can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
Joe GARDEN was at Mudgee Police Station around 1987-88 in uniform. Not sure where he was prior to that.
Joe started in the Detectives office as an ‘A’ lister around that time. He was left high and dry after the designated detectives moved on and he was forced to run the detectives office ‘one out’.
Apparently Joe hit the bottle quite badly and finished up banging up a police vehicle ‘on duty’ whilst intoxicated.
Had some major fights with ‘senior officers’ and was forced onto sick leave.
Joe was ‘Force transferred’ to Dubbo Intelligence Office and worked there for a year or two before he drew his service revolver, went home and shot himself.
It is believed that Joe was aged in his late 20’s or early 30’s, married with young kids at the time.
( 2019 ) Information is that Joe had attempted a drug over dose and had been admitted to Dubbo Base Hospital where, apart from other methods, he was orally administered ‘charcoal’ to absorb the poison.
He was seen, in Hospital, by a Mental Health worker who asked how he was. Joe’s forceful reply was ” I’m FINE !! ” and Joe repeated that statement.
Later, that morning, Joe was discharged home.
Joe attended Dubbo Police Station where he picked up his Police issued revolver and went home where he placed a pillow slip over his head before fatally shooting himself, in the head, whilst on the lawn.
May you forever be at Peace Joe.
Further information is sought about this man, his life and his death.
Internet searches have failed to find anything further as of this date – 1 June 2016 or 5 June 2019 – on this man.
Further information is sought.
Barry Stuart EDGECOMBE
Barry Stuart EDGECOMBE
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: ?, possibly Blacktown & Parramatta HWP
Service: From ? to ?
Awards: National Medal – granted 27 November 1990
Died on: ? ? ? ( early 1990’s )
Location of death:
Cause: Suicide – Drug overdose
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: ?
BARRY is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance *NEED MORE INFO
[alert_yellow] Lauren is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow] *NEED MORE INFO
A special young lady who was part of our Police “Family”. She had a good heart and was very special to many of us!
Rest in Peace Lauren Johnstone!
Accidental overdose leads to calls for changes to ACT’s prescription monitoring system
Lauren Johnstone was excited about the future: she had a new partner and was counting down the days until her daughter’s wedding.
A former police officer, she had long battled with post traumatic stress disorder but she seemed to be turning her life around.
She was still on a number of strong prescription medications but had an agreement with her GP, which she was following diligently.
On January 7, 2015, her daughter, Ariarne Bunyan came home from work to find her dead, just a day after being discharged from a cosmetic surgery clinic.
ACT Chief Coroner Lorraine Walker recently determined Ms Johnstone’s death was an accidental overdose as a result of taking her prescribed medication as instructed, and aggravated byover-the-counter medication her doctors were not aware of.
She recommended changes to the ACT’s recently introduced prescription monitoring system, DORA, which, even if it was operational in 2015, would not have raised any red flags for many of the drugs Ms Johnstone was taking.
Ms Johnstone’s daughters, Ms Bunyan and Tamara Farrell, say their mother’s death showed the at-times blasé approach to scheduled medications, including over-the-counter drugs.
Crucially, one of the drugs Ms Johnstone took that could have played a major part in her death was an easily acquired over-the-counter sleeping pill called restavit.
Her family doesn’t believe Ms Johnston would have had any idea of the risk she was taking by combining the drugs she did.
On January 5, 2015, Ms Johnstone was admitted to a clinic where she underwent a planned facial surgery.
She was discharged after one night and prescribed endone for pain.
On her request, she was also prescribed her regular medications: imovane, valdoxan, tramadol and valium.
While the doctor called Ms Johnstone’s regular GP to consult, he was advised her GP was on vacation.
His only warning to Ms Johnstone about the drugs was the risk of increased drowsiness as a result of combining the medications with endone.
At the time, and not known to her doctors, she had also obtained the over-the-counter sleeping pill doxylamine and codeine.
While the cause of her death was determined to be the combined effect of prescription and non-prescription medication, it was not possible to determine which drugs were more significant contributors to her death.
Her family believe Ms Johnstone should not have been prescribed the drugs after surgery and, considering her history and health, should not have been deemed fit for it. They also believe she was discharged too soon.
“People have to start taking all drugs more seriously, including over-the-counter medication,” Ms Bunyan said.
“Instead of the warnings being on a tiny pamphlet with the tiny spot down the bottom that no one reads, it should be in bright red on the packaging.
“You can just go to your doctor and ask for certain medications – a lot of the time they’ll just do it.”
The current DORA system – introduced earlier this year – covers strong opioids like oxycodone, but not drugs like diazepam.
As a result of Ms Johnstone’s death, the coroner recommended the ACT Health Minister declare tramadol, sleeping pill doxylamine and diazepam to be monitored drugs.
She also suggested widening the scope of monitored medicines to include all schedule 3 and 4 drugs, or, alternatively certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that may have significant sedating effects when taken in combination with opioids or benzodiazepines.
Other recommendations included the clinics altering pre-admission forms for patients to list all over-the-counter medications they were taking.
The family welcomed the coroner’s recommendations.
They said considering drugs like pseudoephedrine were monitored closely across the country, those much more dangerous to people should be as well.
Even though such a system would be too late to save their mother, they believe it would save many others.
Former health minister Meegan Fitzharris said the government was considering the recommendations and would formally respond.
“Prescription monitoring is a challenge faced by all states and territories and it is an area where the ACT government has continued to make progress,” she said.
On 13 January, 1990 Senior Constable Eastes took his own life in a Brisbane Motel. On 20 October, 1989 he had been one of the first police to arrive on the scene of the horrific bus crash upon the Pacific Hwy, Cowper, ( commonly referred to as the Grafton bus crash ) in which twenty people died and twenty three more were injured. At the time it was the worst road accident in Australia’s history. Following the accident the senior constable reported off duty on sick report, suffering from Acute Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome.
The constable was born in 1960 and joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Cadet on the 4 July, 1977. At the time of his death he was attached to the Lismore District Accident Investigation Squad.
[blockquote]It was during that time that I had a lengthy conversation with a highway patrol officer, Grant Eastes. I could sense that this man was in quite a bad way, finding it hard to cope. It was just his attitude, what he was saying, how he expressed how he was feeling. As we talked he brought up all these other incidents on the highway that he’d attended in recent months. I was so concerned that I mentioned the conversation to some senior police officers and later, Major Errol Woodbury, who was one of the State’s senior police chaplains at the time.[/blockquote]
A postscript to the Grafton tragedy. Three months after the accident, 29 year old Senior Constable Grant Eastes, the officer I was so concerned about on the night of the tragedy, was found dead in a motel room in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley. He’d taken an overdose of pills.
Grant’s father Ken told journalists his son’s life had been destroyed by the sight of the dead and injured at the Grafton bus crash scene.
I’m afraid to say his suicide didn’t surprise me. Here was a crash investigation officer who had witnessed a real slathering of fatal accidents up and down that highway. The bus crash was the catalyst for his suicide. It was just too much.