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Witness Statement


Coroners Witness Statement

Below is the Statement I made to the NSW Police investigating Carey's death on behalf of the NSW Coroner. I have deleted some names to protect the identity of certain persons. One copy of this was provided to the investigating officer and one sent direct to the Coroners Court. I would like to further submit that I thank many of Careys friends for their support during this time and also their being so honest with me about their thoughts on what happened on that fateful Monday morning.

 

In the matter of:

Deceased, Carey HERRINGE

Date:

20 April 2010

Name:

*************** HERRINGE

 

STATES:

1.     This statement made by me accurately sets out the evidence that I would be prepared, if necessary, to give in court as a witness. The statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I will be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated in it anything that I know to be false, or do not believe to be true.

2.     I am 39 years of age.

3.     I am Carey's eldest brother.

4.     During the period of November early December 2009 I was appointed by Carey through solicitor M.Twemlow, as Carey's legal Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian. This Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship was effected to assist Carey during November in taking charge of his welfare which he was not able to do himself due to reasons of chronic depression, suicidality and drug dependency. Carey was released into my care from Cumberland Psychiatric Hospital. He had been admitted to Cumberland after failed suicide by way of intentional and deliberate overdose requiring medical revival at the scene by Paramedics. During my discussions with Officer Trent Lister {Parramatta Police} in November and December 2009 I advised numerous times of my concerns with respect to Carey, his drug dependency, his fragile state of mind and his high risk of suicide given the amount of issues in his life at the time and the way he was ill equipped to deal with them.

5.     Carey had become addicted to Narcotic pain relieving medications as early as 1997 and this is well documented in his hospital and medical files. Dr. David Webster Psychiatrist believed and noted this was Carey's way of masking his pain from his childhood. Dr. David Webster noted also in correspondance that the, 'family was amongst the most destructive, dysfunctional, mentally and physically abusive families I had come across.' {CONST Keskeridis has copies of this documentation}

6.     I bear witness personally to Carey's childhood abuse as we received the same violent abuse during our child teen years from our father, Colin Herringe. I am happy ellaborate further if required. In brief, Carey as a child was subjected to violent uncontrolled and generally unprovoked smackings, punches, beltings and whippings (Jockey's whip) from his father Colin Herringe. He was verbally reprimanded on almost a daily basis by demoralising verbal assaults which took their toll on Carey's self esteem as a young child and early teenager. By the time Carey came to live with his mother (teen years) Carey had developed many sociopathic tendancies as this was the learnt behaviour he recognised. By the time of 20 years of age Carey had a extensive psychiatric and medical record. Carey also by this age had attempted suicide. Such attempts included prescription drug overdose, attempts at hanging himself and attempts of injuring himself with a knife. He was hospitalised on such occasions both at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and The Wesley Hospital Brisbane.

7.     Carey found particular peace with using Doctor supplied Narcotic medications namely Opiates such as Morphine, Ordine, Oxycontin, Endone and Pethidine. The tablet forms such as Oxycontin and Endone he only used when he could not readily obtain the injectable Pethidine and Morphine and he would take them in large quantities sufficient to 'knock' him out.

8.     Carey and I often spoke regarding his childhood and his associated pain. His pain ran very deep. For Carey it led to bouts of confusion, self blame and guilt. He could never understand why his narcissistic father favoured Carey's older brother ***** and didn't treat all the children equally. I offered my support and encouragement to getting professional help and assistance. I told Carey that blocking out the pain with drugs was only compounding problems.

9.     As with many victims of childhood abuse, Carey felt throughout his life extremely isolated and alone. This can be found throughout numerous hospital records where he reports to doctors that he felt the 'black sheep' of the family. Carey's first marriage was a complete failure for Carey as he had taken into the marriage the learnt behaviour patterns from his childhood such as chauvinism, verbal and physical abuse. The marriage dissolved after only a brief time together when Carey assaulted his wife *****. Carey who was an extreme co-dependent sought a relationship which he could control. His next relationship was with *****. Carey's emotional fragility was found right throughout their long standing relationship by his behaviour, continued drug abuse and controlling attitude.

10.  Last year upon Carey finding out that his wife had an extra-martial affair, a fight ensued where upon ***** was assaulted by Carey. The assault was unintentional but it resulted in the end of their long standing relationship.

11.  In November of last year as previously stated, Carey who was unable to cope with not seeing his children, seperating from his wife ***** and the pending assault trial overdosed on narcotics with intent to end his life. Carey stated to me during my visit with him in Cumberland hospital that he was, 'pissed off that he had been revived.' He further added,'He had known exactly what he was doing to induce a painless death and knew the drugs he had taken and what parts of his body were shutting down as he began to pass out.' I spoke with him regarding his children and how he must put aside his feelings as they needed a Daddy regardless of whether their mother and he were together. Cumberland hospital released Carey to my care where upon he was taken by me back to my house at Lake Macquarie. In the drive back to my house it became very evident by comments Carey made that he was erratic, agitated and still held many suicidal intentions. I took him to the Mater Psychiatric hospital in Waratah. Such suicidal ideation was relayed to the Psychiatric registrar and subsequently they booked him into their care under locked observation. Carey informed them of his marriage breakdown and his childhood abuse. He further informed them of his concerns of further self harm. After observing Carey, they advised me that they were not equipped to provide long term treatment for Carey's psychiatric and psychological problems {eg, Marriage breakdown, drug dependency and long term psychological trauma from his extensive childhood abuse} so I obtained a referral to the Sydney Clinic at Bronte as this offered both rehabilitation and psychotherapy counselling for Carey. Carey at admission and also during his stay at the clinic resounded his pains regarding his childhood and marriage breakdown. Unfortunately Carey was removed from Sydney clinic due to suicidal behaviour and taken to Kiloh Psychiatric Unit for assessment. Carey's extensive knowledge of how to 'beat' the system allowed him to be let out after on 24 hours. He was then transferred to Wesley Psychiatric Hospital at Ashfield. He was requested to leave Wesley Ashfield due to leaving their hospital without authority. It was suspected by staff that Carey went doctor shopping for narcotics. Due to the restrictive nature of rehab centres Carey refused to go to any more private clinics. I therefore had him transferred to Concorde Psychiatric. Carey said to me en-route to Concorde, '*****, I don't know why you are sending me here. You know I shall beat you. You know I shall get out!' I advised him my soul intentions were to get him off the drugs and get him the help that he desperately required. I further voiced my concerns regarding his suicidality to which he advise that, '*****, I know what I am doing. I won't end up dead from Pethidine. If I wanted to kill myself I would do it in hospital because I could easily get drugs that would do it in an instant.' Once again Carey managed to convince doctors that he was okay. This had become a game to Carey as he had been in and out of psychiatric facilities since 17 and knew how to trick doctors, just as he could trick doctors into obtaining narcotics. I pleaded in a meeting with Concorde doctors that if they release Carey he would be dead with 3 months. Such was how much I feared Carey's inability to cope with his life pressures. They rejected my pleas stating they found nothing wrong with him. During Carey's time in all the hospitals and clinics previously mentioned, I informed the doctors that Carey should be treated as both a high suicide risk and a drug addict and that he had NO illness warranting such medications or pain relief. After being released from hospital Carey caught a taxi to another hospital trying to get 'pain relief' after feigning illness. When refused he then went to Burwood on a doctor shopping spree. Carey's father had alerted me that Carey was missing. I attempted to have Carey arrested that evening for breach of his bail conditions hoping that perhaps a court could force him into drug rehab. When police attended the scene they contacted his father who was in charge of his bail. His father advised police he was not in breach of his bail and knew exactly where Carey was. Despite Carey having been off drugs for the period he was in the hospitals and clinics, it was ultimately his father who in an effort to control Carey's moods and behaviour at his unit began Carey back on Narcotics by 'drip feeding' him when he showed good behaviour. Not being able to condone this method of madness from his fathers side I revoked my Power of Attorney and Guardianship and returned the corresponding papers of authority to Carey with a letter of explanation. In that letter I explained Carey must get away from his father and seek proper counselling. Carey must see any person supporting his drug habits had no love nor care for his wellbeing. I also informed that day Trent Lister {Parramatta Police} of my reasons for revoking my Power of Attorney and also said to Lister, 'I have a very bad feeling about this. I hold grave fears Carey will end up killing himself'.

12.  After this time and up until February, Carey's life spiralled out of control. He phoned me on numerous occasions frantic over not seeing his children and ways 'we' could force ***** into him seeing them. I advised as I had done during his stays at the clinics that 'we' should focused on the positives towards getting him off drugs, seeking counselling for his abuse, seeking to learn better coping mechanisms, getting his health in check and getting a job. Sadly no matter how hard I tried these calls only ended up being calls with no effort from Carey's side.

13.  By the weekend preceding Carey's death, Carey was overshadowed by a mountain of problems that were from his perspective to much to cope with. A breakdown of such problems is listed below:

        A family law matter to be heard regarding Carey and his daughter from the first marriage *****.

        The criminal assault charge and case coming up which scared the hell out of him.

        The fact he had all but exhausted most options of obtaining drugs via doctors and hospitals as most had now been alerted to the fact he was a doctor shopper.

        The fact the hospital he was in was not prepared to give him the drugs he demanded.

        The fact he could not and had not seen his children from his marriage with *****.

        The fact that ***** had already commenced family law matters preventing Carey seeing his children or at least making it all but impossible without taking it before the family law court. This was further complicated by the fact that Carey now had a assault case pending an outcome.

        The fact that he was not coping with his break up from ***** nor was he coping with the affair she had, nor was he coping with her breach of trust in the marriage.

        The fact he had been thrown out of the unit by his father and now had no where to live.

        The fact that his father had only one favoured son and that was never Carey ***************. To that degree Carey was tired of living the dream that perhaps one day he would be recognised individually rather than trying to compete with his brother in his fathers eyes. I am expand on this if required.

        The fact he had no money or job.

        The fact his self esteem was the lowest it had ever been.

14.  The evening preceding Carey's death, and having spoke to him several times over that weekend I believe Carey sought to obtain drugs for pain relief and was refused by staff. I believe he was fatigued and unable to think with any clarity. I believe he was overwhelmed with grief, (Staff reported seeing him crying on the Sunday afternoon but he did not offer an explanation). I spoke with Carey's father on the Sunday who advised me Carey could not come back to his unit. Carey's father at the time did not advise me he had already thrown him out. I assumed his father meant upon being discharged from hospital he could not return to the unit. I told his father that due to the fragile state of Carey's mind not to tell him that without offering him a positive. Such a positive should be that we as a family could find alternative accommodation for Carey as well as help him out financially if he were to agree to rehab. Despite what I had suggested to Carey's father Colin Herringe, he had a fight with Carey on the Sunday afternoon / evening telling Carey he was a loser and a drug addict. He was not like his brother ***** and never would be. He also stated he would not attend the doctors meeting in the morning (a meeting had be scheduled between Dr. Phong and other doctors, Colin Herringe & his mother Denise ***** via phonelink,to discuss Carey's health and drug issues. In essence it was a 'save Carey' meeting).

15.  It is on that evening I believe Carey was unable to sleep due to this argument. His thoughts which had spiralled his life out of control for the previous 5 months now betrayed him. He allegedly contacted the hospital portraying himself as a doctor to get drugs delivered to the ward. This attempt was unsuccessful. He then left a message on his doctors phone saying he just needed a high or something to that effect. This outlines to me the very height of his state of mind as NOWHERE in the past 15 years, in over a thousand pages of hospital medical notes has any intimation of the word 'high' been used as Carey always claimed he required the narcotics for pain relief. Finally feeling betrayed by his father and his wife, feeling insignificant just as his father had always led him to believe he was, Carey went consciously to a crash cart, stole medicines returned to his room and injected himself for the last time.

16.  It was NO secret that Carey had suicidal thoughts leading up to his death these are both well documented. He further passed on such thoughts to friends and family whom may or may not have been interviewed during the course of this investigation such as *****, *****, *****, *****, *****, *****, *****, and *****.

17.  Those who knew Carey knew he was of very high intelligence. At his funeral he was described as someone who could sell ice to eskimo's as he had previously been Ricoh's top salesman 5 months in a row reaching over a million dollars in sales contracts for photocopiers. Carey studied medical journals and books so he could feign illnesses to mimic the symptomolgy so he could obtain narcotics. To that degree, I believe without question based on Carey's medical and drug knowledge, based on his suicidal thoughts relayed to so many people close to him, based on his previous attempts throughout his life and leading to definitive one(s?) which would have been fatal if not intervened by third parties in the November preceding; based on his mental state in the week leading up to that fateful Monday morning, Carey unequivocally with full knowledge and intent chose to end his life.

18.  Regarding the fact that Carey may have 'stored or hidden' drugs from that cart seemingly appearing that he was saving them up for use at a later time I do not believe this to be for such intent. Carey has a highly extensive medical knowledge. Carey has been in and out of hospitals most of his adult life and NEVER touched drugs on the crash trolleys. I believe Carey hid the drugs so if his first attempt failed he would make certain he finished the job. Mentally for Carey his future was about as useless as he could image. For him to see his children he would have two simultaneous Family Law Cases. He had no money or job. And for a co-dependent of Carey's magnitude without his ***** it all was pointless. He had voiced many times to friends and family if he couldn't have her back then he may as well be dead.

19.  I want it known that throughout my life I have never known nor have been prouder of any person. I loved Carey through thick and thin. We shared the same child abuse together. I know very well those thoughts of suicide as I have been there myself. I have been hospitalised numerous times for attempted suicide. Over 20 years of therapy and I still find it hard to bury the pain Carey and I endured and his death has hurt me more than I can describe as we shared a bond. Of note, Colin Herringe prior to being with our mother was previously married. In his first marriage Colin Herringe favoured the first born daughter ***** and treated his other daughter ***** like shit. ***** also has a history of suicide attempts and psychiatric problems from her childhood.

20.  I understand the pain that was in his heart. I understand the desire to connect with a father that doesn't even notice your existence. I understand his feelings of co-dependency. I understand his feelings of isolation and the inability to feel worthless. Carey had all these feelings but no ability to share or communicate them. He was a broken shell and on that Monday morning looking at his life, he saw a tunnel with no light, a pit with no bottom, a life of no value and no desire nor strength to go on.

21.  When my mother phoned early on the Monday morning to inform me I missed her call and it went to message bank. My wife checked the messages and said 'your Mum was crying and said to call her urgently.' I replied to my wife, 'Carey's dead.' Her call could have been about my brother *****, or my sister *****. It could have been over many reasons but I knew without a shadow of a doubt Carey had passed.

22.  His father continued to betray Carey after his death and this information has been posted on the website I have established for Carey, www.careyherringememorial.com.au

I am happy to discuss my statement further should that be required. I hope that regardless of others opinions this case is investigated with the utmost diligence and integrity. Carey's father's statement should be considered with very cautiously as Carey was only ever one thing to him, an embarrassment.

Witness:

Signature:


 


 


 


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