A jailed mother has been granted special leave to attend her son’s funeral in Kalgoorlie that was held on Tuesday afternoon.
Petrina Annette James was imprisoned in March for burglary and stealing offenses. She is the mother of the 14-year-old boy named Elijah who was killed in August in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The death of the Aboriginal boy ignited the flame of racism once again in the state and led to racial riots in the Goldfields town. Elijah Doughty will receive his last rites after a month of being hit by ute. He was attacked while riding a stolen motorbike in the east of Perth.
The funeral was held at Maku Stadium and was followed by a procession. The procession walked almost five kilometers to a cemetery in Kalgoorlie after completing the solemn service. Elijah’s body was recovered close to the bushlands in Kalgoorlie on August 29. The death followed a racial riot only when a 55-year-old white man was charged with the manslaughter of the teen.
The Aboriginal community held demonstrations against the manslaughter charges and demanded to upgrade the charges to murder.
The man was due to appear in court but people went on streets to protest. Around 200 people caused destruction, smashing the windows with bottles and rocks. There were 12 police officers who were injured in the clash. This led to the postponement of the court date.
At the funeral, it was expected that the racial riot will spark but Elijah’s jailed mother called for “peace” and “the right to mourn appropriately.”
Elijah parents, including father Darryl Doughty, read an emotional tribute for their kid, The Daily Mail reported. “You see son, nobody really knew how special you were, only your father and myself did,” it read. “You were so perfect in every way, that’s why it’s so hard to let you go, son.”
There were many children who attended the funeral wearing T-shirts with messages reading, “R.I.P. Elijah, Fly High” and “Forever Young.”