Graham Robertson hasn’t had a good day in the almost five years he has tried to get justice for his son Charlie. Two police have now been accused of perjury.
Graham Robertson hasn’t had a good day in the almost five years he has tried to get justice for his son Charlie. Two police have now been accused of perjury.

’He was everything I wanted in a young man’

GRAHAM Robertson has not had a good day in the almost five years he has tried to get justice for his son Charlie Robertson.

Charlie, a promising university student, died after police raided his Nobby Beach apartment on the morning of June 13, 2015.

Not one of the seven police officers at the home told paramedics on scene to check on the 19-year-old who was unconscious on his mattress, a coroner found in March 2017.

Last week Mr Robertson said he felt his fight was "not in vain" when the two police officers were charged over the incident - both are accused of perjury and common assault.

Mum Rose Christian, Bond University student Charlie Robertson, and dad Graham Robertson pictured before the 19-year-old’s tragic death. Picture: Supplied/Nigel Hallett
Mum Rose Christian, Bond University student Charlie Robertson, and dad Graham Robertson pictured before the 19-year-old’s tragic death. Picture: Supplied/Nigel Hallett

The 57-year-old and 30-year-old will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.

"I have bad days and I have better days - I never, ever have a good day," Mr Robertson told the Bulletin.

The arrests last week were, however, a step forward, the grieving father said.

"It's lifted our spirits to know something is finally happening regarding getting some sort of justice," he said.

"Now we are just counting down the days until we are going to go and be sitting in the court and watching the proceedings.

"We have partial relief as things are still to be finalised."

After a five-day coronial hearing in March 2017, coroner Terry Ryan referred the matter to the Department of Public Prosecution to consider criminal charges.

The coronial hearing found Charlie had returned home and went to sleep after his flatmates were partaking in drugs. The next morning seven officers raided the apartment and found Charlie asleep.

Graham Robertson, the grieving father of Charlie Roberston at his Southport home. Picture: Richard Gosling
Graham Robertson, the grieving father of Charlie Roberston at his Southport home. Picture: Richard Gosling

"Over the next 90 minutes several attempts were made by police officers to wake Charlie up, as the search of his home progressed," the coroner said.

"These included shining a torch on him, attempts to elicit a pain response with a sternum rub and chest pinch, shaking him, pouring water on him, and tipping up the bed where he was apparently sleeping." Paramedics were there but not a single officer asked them to check on him.

Police left Charlie in the care of three women at the apartment and he was found dead just after 12.30pm that day.

The night before he had been awarded a Dean's Award at Bond University.

The clothes he wore that night were found in the washing machine and he was dressed in his usual pyjamas.

Police officers told the inquest they believed Robertson was "drunk" and left without alerting paramedics, who were already at the premises treating another man - who had jumped from a balcony - for broken ankles.

The inquest was also told officers lifted the mattress as Charlie lay unconscious.

"The attending police officers acted inadequately … with respect to his (Robertson's) presentation that morning," he said. "Lifting the mattress was inappropriate and showed no respect for Charlie.

"The sound of laughing when he fell to the ground ­reflects very poorly."

Charlie Robertson before his death on June 13, 2015. Picture: Supplied/Nigel Hallett
Charlie Robertson before his death on June 13, 2015. Picture: Supplied/Nigel Hallett

Pathology results showed that Charlie had a toxic level of the drug fantasy in his system.

But his father questions whether Charlie willingly took the drug as the inquest found his fingerprints were not on the bottle the substance was found in. Fantasy is a clear liquid with no smell.

Mr Robertson said next week he and his former wife Rose Christian hope to attend the court during the first appearance of the officers.

But while he hoped the case would bring some kind of closure, he still misses his son.

"I idolised my son, he was everything I wanted in a young man and he was so good at everything he did," he said.

Originally published as 'He was everything I wanted in a young man'



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