Rose Christian and Graham Robertson outside a Brisbane court in Marsh after a hearing related to their son Charlie Robertson, 19, who died from a drug overdose on March 13, 2015 on the Gold Coast. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Rose Christian and Graham Robertson outside a Brisbane court in Marsh after a hearing related to their son Charlie Robertson, 19, who died from a drug overdose on March 13, 2015 on the Gold Coast. Picture: Steve Pohlner

Parents’ anguish: ‘Cops won’t apologise over son’s death’

THE parents of a student who died of a drug overdose, after police failed to seek medical help for him, say they have never had any apology from police.

The family of Charlie Robertson, 19, who died in 2015, today attended the first court appearance of two Gold Coast police officers charged with assaulting their son.

Senior Constable Blake William Joseph Sullivan, 30, and Senior Constable Grant Thomas Watkins, 57, are charged with common assault and perjury.

The alleged common assault charge relates to the police officers' attempts to wake Mr Robertson.

It is alleged they gave false testimony at an inquest into Bond University student Charlie Robertson's June, 2015 "preventable" death.

Charlie Robertson, 19, with his parents Rose Christian and Graham Robertson. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Charlie Robertson, 19, with his parents Rose Christian and Graham Robertson. Picture: Nigel Hallett

The 2017 inquest heard seven officers raided a Miami unit and found him asleep on his bed, after he had taken drugs, including cocaine and GHB.

Police spent 90 minutes trying to wake Mr Robertson up by shining a torch on him, pinching and rubbing his chest, shaking him, pouring water on him and tipping his bed, the inquest was told.

They then left him in the company of three teenage girls without seeking medical treatment.

Mr Robertson died from a drug overdose in the following hours.

The officers have not been charged in relation to Mr Robertson's death.

Coroner Terry Ryan referred the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Watkins and Sullivan were charged in March.

Bond University student Charlie Robertson died of a drug overdose in 2015. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Bond University student Charlie Robertson died of a drug overdose in 2015. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Court documents allege they lied to the inquest by claiming Mr Robertson "was being held during the lift of a mattress" during the raid.

Graham Robertson, said outside Brisbane Magistrates Court that he and his son's mother Rose Christian and his sister, Sophie, were seeking justice for Charlie.

They want a law to stop police from being able to walk away from any unconscious person or anyone unable to respond.

"We have never had any recognition of our family's pain and suffering," Mr Robertson said.

"To this day we have not had anything approaching a regret or even nearing an apology."

Mr Robertson said Crown Law officers, at the family's only meeting on October 9, last year, had treated them extremely poorly and with disdain.

"We've had nothing resembling any sort of regret, remorse or compassion from anybody," Mr Robertson said.

"This needs to come from the Police Commissioner and Minister for Police, whom I will be tackling personally."

Ms Christian said they would keep fighting for justice and accountability because they were still living with a life sentence.

Charlie's mother and sister sobbed as a tearful Mr Robertson spoke of a son he described as "our champion".

"He was such a good boy. He excelled at everything he did," Mr Robertson said.

"We'll go to our graves knowing he was given an overdose by a person or persons unknown."

The case was adjourned until July 13 and Sullivan and Watkins were granted bail. They said nothing as they left court.


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