Balcony death still raw for family

FAMILY: Greg Caulfield's sister Kylie Mitchell and father John Caulfield at the commission flats where he died. Picture: THE AGE

FAMILY: Greg Caulfield's sister Kylie Mitchell and father John Caulfield at the commission flats where he died. Picture: THE AGE

A MAN whose son died after falling from a balcony says he does not accept the Deputy State Coroner’s finding into the death. 

Gregory John Caulfield died in November 2011 after falling from a housing commission balcony. 

Police had used capsicum spray in an attempt to apprehend Mr Caulfield, and Deputy State Coroner Iain West found officers did not contribute to the death. 

His father, John, is looking to appeal. 

“It’s a disgrace,” he said.

“All we got was a written copy. We went through the findings with the solicitors today. I wasn’t happy with them at all.”

Mr Caulfield said the inquest found “nobody was responsible for anything”.

“I think the police are partially to blame,” he said.

“It’s affected everyone, the whole family, really badly.

“You get nights where you don’t sleep, you wonder what went through his mind when he fell, what the real cause of it was. It’s something you’ll never know.”

Mr West found Greg Caulfield died while climbing to a lower balcony in an attempt to evade police.

His father said Greg had started using drugs as a teenager and had left behind two sons, who were struggling to cope with the loss.

“He hung around with a group of kids who started smoking pot and it got bigger and bigger,” he said.

“His mother and I had split up but I don’t think that was the reason for the drugs.”

Mr Caulfied, 57, said he wanted laws around capsicum spray use in confined spaces to change.  

“I just hope the law changes one day so that the situation never happens again and someone loses a son or daughter,” he said.

“That’s all we’ve been fighting for, for the law to change.” 

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop