Alec Meikle's family speaks out after bullying inquest makes no findings

Alec Meikle
Alec Meikle

THE family of a teenage boy who took his own life after allegedly being bullied at work say they hope their son's story will lead to a greater awareness about the devastating consequences of harassment. 

Alec Meikle was just 17 when he killed himself after being the subject of alleged relentless bullying at his workplace, Downer EDI in Bathurst.

His family issued a statement late Friday evening, after deputy state coroner Paul MacMahon said he could not make findings in the case because he did not have the jurisdiction to do so.

"Whilst the coroner's conclusion was no finding on jurisdictional grounds, the Coroner noted Alec's treatment at Downer was a substantial contributing factor to his depression,” Alec’s parents Richard and Andrea said in a statement. 

"We hope the media attention surrounding this matter, and having the evidence heard publicly, leads to a greater awareness of the possible devastating consequences of harassment," they said.

In December 2013, an inquest into Alec's death heard allegations that Alec was told he would be raped with a steel dildo if he made too many mistakes on the job.

Alec's father Richard Meikle gave evidence at the inquest saying Alec, who was also allegedly burnt with a welding torch, sprayed with adhesive spray and had his welding mask sprayed with flammable liquid so it caught on fire when he was welding, took the threat of sexual assault very seriously.

On Friday, 13-months after the hearing concluded Mr MacMahon said he was unable to hand down findings or recommendations in the matter, because he did not have the jurisdiction to do so. 

Mr MacMahon said he came to this conclusion, because on the balance of probabilities, he couldn't establish the cause of Alec's death occurred in NSW, which he was required to do under Section 82, of the Coroners Act.

While he was satisfied Alec suffered clinical depression and his employment with Downer EDI was a substantial contributing factor to that, he said there was no evidence as to what was going on in Alec's mind when he ended his life.

Late Friday afternoon, Alec's parents, who are now living in New Zealand, and his sister Rebecca, issued a statement through their Bathurst based solicitor, Andrew Dunshea, expressing their disappointment in Mr MacMahon's findings, saying they were "deeply disappointed with the finding of Mr MacMahon".


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