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Aborigine Teenager Murdered in Aussie Racist Attack

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An Indigenous woman embraces a child
Cassius's mother Mechelle Turvey was comforted by family members outside Midland Magistrates Court on Monday morning. (ABC News: Cason Ho)
 A Middle Swan man has been charged with murder over the alleged vicious attack of 15-year-old Aboriginal boy Cassius Turvey, who died over the weekend as a result of his injuries.

Key points:

  • The teen was seriously injured in an altercation on October 13
  • He was taken to hospital in a critical condition but died 10 days later
  • Police have asked anyone with information to come forward

Multiple surgeries were not enough to save the boy, who passed away yesterday after being placed in an induced coma.

Jack Steven James Brearley, 21, was originally charged with one count of unlawful wounding, but homicide squad detectives upgraded the charge to murder.

Mr Brearley made a brief appearance at Midland Magistrates Court on Monday to hear the charge.

'I don't think you can ever get justice,' mother says

Dozens of friends and family appeared outside the court to show their support for Cassius's family.

"I'm just appalled at some of the violence going on in our communities,” Cassius’s mother Mechelle Turvey said.

"We only buried his father a month ago after a two-year battle with cancer."


Cassius lies in hospital in a critical condition

Cassius Turvey died yesterday after being hospitalised in a critical condition.(Supplied)

The family has given the ABC permission to use a photo of Cassius that was taken as he lay in hospital in a critical condition before he died on October 23. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Cleal said Cassius was walking with a group of friends on October 13 when they were approached by a black Ford Ranger ute. 

Police allege Mr Brearley jumped out the car and ran towards the group before assaulting Cassius with a metal pole, which police are still searching for.

Cassius suffered lacerations to the ear and forehead and the family said scans at Midland St John of God Hospital revealed two brain haemorrhages.

He was transported to Perth Children's Hospital and was discharged after five days, but had a seizure just hours after, and was transported back to hospital.

The teenager underwent surgery and was put into a medically induced coma.

Police working with local business

When asked about a possible motive for the alleged attack, Detective Senior Sergeant Cleal said police were "looking into all avenues" in the investigation.

A police officer wearing a suit walks through a doorway.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Cleal says police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. (ABC News: Cason Ho)

"In terms of the motivation [behind] the attack, that is still subject to ongoing investigations by the homicide squad," he said.

He said there was no indication that Mr Brearley knew Cassius or the other alleged members of the group.

"We are working with the family, and local businesses and the school just to ensure that northing further escalates as a result of this," he said.

'A mother's worst nightmare'

Emily Farmer, the mother of one of the other boys who was with Cassius on the day of the alleged attack, said his friends were distraught.

A blonde woman looks distressed as she is pictured outside a courthouse
Emily Farmer says her son was with Cassius when the incident occured.(ABC News: Cason Ho)

"They are all together at the moment just trying to get through it … this is one of a mother's worst nightmares," she said.

"For those people that are still out there, that were part of it, they should give themselves in. Don't know how they can live with themselves.

"This is not just one family. This is, so many other families. This is a whole community."

Cassius's family has organised a GoFundMe, which they've named #justiceforcassius, to cover costs for the boy's funeral and legal costs.

Mr Brearley has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on November 9.

Police asked anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it online

They asked that any dashcam or other relevant footage be uploaded to their website. 

Detectives also wish to speak with anyone in the area at the time of the alleged incident, particularly anyone who saw a black ute driving in the area. 

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