Agnes Hendry (centre) with her two remaining children Candy and James Hobbey.
Agnes Hendry (centre) with her two remaining children Candy and James Hobbey. Ali Kuchel

Mother's plea to fix 'broken system' after death of son

LAWRENCE Hobby would look through fashion magazines with his brother and dream of being one of the male models.

He didn't just wish to be a model - he became one, strutting the catwalk, often sporting clothing for Calvin Klein, until his battle with drugs overcame him.

"I couldn't be any more proud of him, I honestly couldn't," his brother James said.

"I hated the drugs, but I couldn't be any more proud of him."

Lawrence Hobby, 38, tragically died on June 29, 2018, at a property on South Street in Gatton.
Lawrence Hobby, 38, tragically died on June 29, 2018, at a property on South Street in Gatton. CONTRIBUTED

From his late teens, Lawrence struggled through life with drug addictions, and in late June, he tragically lost this fight at a property in Gatton.

Holding back tears, his mother Agnes Hendry described him as "a beautiful boy" who would be remembered for his cheeky grin and ability to always be in the centre of a photo.

Despite the heartache her family is suffering, Mrs Hendry said she would not rest until changes were made to what she called a "broken system".

She pleaded with medical staff for six months before his death in a desperate attempt to get him help for addiction - with no effect.

Presently, drug users must seek medical assistance themselves to get expert help, but Mrs Hendry said this was not a viable option for those users who were "too far gone."

"My boy wasn't right, he needed to be fixed," she said.

While Mrs Hendry had been begging doctors to help Lawrence, so had his siblings Candy and James - but attempts to get Lawrence help proved fruitless unless he took himself in.

"How is he supposed to hand himself in when he's delusional?" his sister Candy said.

Lawrence began abusing drugs at 18, and despite numerous attempts to get clean he continued to struggle with addiction until his death on June 29 this year.

Compounding his use of methamphetamine, Lawrence had begun to abuse Lyrica, a drug he had been prescribed to treat his epilepsy.

Lawrence's prescriptions were prescribed to last a week - but he was taking them within a day.

His mother begged his doctors to stop providing Lawrence such large doses and warned them the pills would "be the death off him."

Those words would come to haunt her. On the evening of June 29, police were called to an address on South St at Gatton where a man had lost consciousness.

He was pronounced deceased a short time later - the man was Lawrence. Gatton CIB confirmed that while investigations were ongoing, his death was not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

Mrs Hendry said the pathologist who examined Lawrence after his death told her there was a massive amount of Lyrica in his system.

Despite her many attempts to get her son help, it was revealed Lawrence presented himself to the Gatton Hospital.

He was released the very same day - just hours before he was found unconscious. Mrs Hendry was at a loss to understand how an epileptic drug user could simply be discharged to "wander the streets".

West Moreton Health community and rural executive director Melinda Parcell declined to provide details on Lawrence's visit to the hospital other than to confirm he had presented to the hospital on the day of his death.

"We cannot comment on care provided as the matter is before the coroner," Ms Parcell said.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction issues, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300224636.