Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009. He was a close mate of Matt Gillett of the Brisbane Broncos.
Photo: Contributed
Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009. He was a close mate of Matt Gillett of the Brisbane Broncos. Photo: Contributed Contributed

It never gets easier: Mum's quest from son's one-punch death

THE mother of a former Brisbane Broncos junior who was killed by a one-punch attack says it never gets any easier living without her son.

Talented former Bribie Island Warrigal and qualified carpenter Todd Parnell was 22 when he died from injuries sustained when he was punched once by Wally James Hung at a 21st birthday party at the Bribie Island Warrigals Rugby League Football Club.

Mr Hung was found guilty in 2013 of manslaughter for the drunken punch and was sentenced to six years and nine months in jail but has been out on parole since May, 2016.

Saturday marked 10 years since Todd's death, which was commemorated by a barbecue with his mates.

She said it'd amazed her on Saturday how much effort Todd's mates still put in to remember him.

Sunshine Coast Falcons against Aspley Devils Rugby League match at Quad Park Falcons. Kris Boyce (right) tackles Aspley fullback Todd Parnell.
Sunshine Coast Falcons against Aspley Devils Rugby League match at Quad Park Falcons. Kris Boyce (right) tackles Aspley fullback Todd Parnell. Contributed

Jenny Stirling said her son's ute was still parked outside her house and his clothes were still in the cupboard, but she was slowly becoming stronger.

"It's still really hard," she said.

Seeing Todd's mates married, with children, was bittersweet for Jenny, as she said she knew that's "where he should be today".

She was now getting more involved with the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group, and was preparing for a major fundraiser in November in Brisbane.

Promising footballer Todd Parnell's mother Jenny Stirling and sister Tara Parnell outside Brisbane Supreme Court after Wally Hunt was convicted of manslaughter.



Photo Rae Wilson / Newsdesk
Promising footballer Todd Parnell's mother Jenny Stirling and sister Tara Parnell outside Brisbane Supreme Court after Wally Hunt was convicted of manslaughter. Photo Rae Wilson / Newsdesk Rae Wilson

Jenny still lives on Bribie Island and drew strength from her daughter, Tara.

"It's (fundraising) one way for me to try and give back," she said.

Jenny said she wanted to one day travel around to primary schools and educate youngsters about the dangers of violence.

"There's lots of things that we can still do," she said.

"Kids need to think about that, even when they're young.

"One action can actually destroy two families and two lives, and the heartbreak that brings."

Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009. He was a close mate of Matt Gillett of the Brisbane Broncos.
Photo: Contributed
Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009. He was a close mate of Matt Gillett of the Brisbane Broncos. Photo: Contributed Contributed

She said things were moving in the right direction in terms of attention on one-punch attacks and punishments, but the justice system in general still left her frustrated.

"Not only one punch, but all sorts of crime, sometimes you just wonder where the justice is," Jenny said.

"You never really get over it, you just learn to somehow live with it."



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