The grieving mother of a young bottle shop worker stabbed to death has revealed she’s been spat on and abused after making the mercy dash to bring her son’s body home.
Declan Laverty, 20, was minutes away from finishing his shift at the Airport Tavern BWS drive-through bottle shop in Darwin just before 9pm on Sunday when he was stabbed multiple times.
He texted both of his parents to say he loved them and that he’d been stabbed before bleeding to death in the arms of a shocked witness at the scene.
As his alleged attacker Keith Kerinauia, 19, faced court for the first time on Tuesday, Declan’s mum, Samara Laverty, and dad, Damien Crook, opened about their heartbreaking loss.
Ms Lavery rushed to Darwin on Monday to bring her son’s body home to Cairns in far north Queensland but has suffered more cruel blows.
Ms Lavery says she had stones and abuse hurled at her and was spat on in the supermarket within hours of arriving in Darwin.
Samara Laverty made the mercy dash to Darwin following the tragic death of son Declan (right)
‘I cannot wait to get my poor son out of this hellhole,’ Ms Laverty told the NT News.
She remembered her son as a smart, loving and talented young man and a keen AFL player who adored animals and his family.
He had just turned 20 in February and was due to return to Cairns soon to visit his mum, sister and pets.
‘His amazing life that he was just starting out his journey on will never be fulfilled,’ Ms Laverty said.
‘He will never fall in love. He will never marry. He will never be a dad.
‘His life, his future, our future have been completely stripped away.’
Mr Laverty was living with his dad in Darwin at the time and still has his leftover dinner in the fridge.
Mr Crook said the pair were best mates and fought back tears as he revealed their plans to buy a house together before his son’s life was tragically cut short.
‘Everyone is hurting. I mean his mum – everyone is hurting, not obviously just me,’ he told the Today show.
Declan Laverty (left) was renting a place in Darwin with his dad Damien Crook (right)
The young bottle shop worker was allegedly stabbed to death at the The Airport Tavern drive-thru BWS (pictured) moments before closing time on Sunday night
‘We had a brilliant relationship a dad relationship but also a mate relationship, you know. We were best mates, you know.
‘We were going to buy a little unit together and he loved his music and he said ‘dad, I’m going to look after you, I’ll buy you a house and look after you, as long as you cook for me every night.’
His son had been looking for a new job because he couldn’t deal with abusive customers anymore.
‘This isn’t the first time,’ Mr Crook said .
‘He’s been abused, he had a screwdriver pulled on him a month or so ago, along with verbal and physical attacks.
‘One of his workmates can’t even go back to work anymore he got beaten up that bad and, and that’s just at that store for refusing alcohol.’
Mr Crook has received a far different response from the Darwin community compared the harrowing ordeal of Declan’s mum in recent days.
He also acknowledged the support of the Endeavor Group, which operates his son’s workplace.
‘Darwin has really amazing,’ he said.
‘I can’t thank Darwin people who have helped enough
‘I want a memorial for Declan in Darwin for me, but for all the people who have been here for me and all the people that are hurting as well, we need something here.’
Damien Crook (pictured) fought back tears while paying tribute to his son on the Today show
Declan Laverty (pictured) had just celebrated his 20th birthday weeks prior
Keith Kerinauia, 19, was on Tuesday charged with one count of murder, a count of aggravated robbery and breach of bail.
The Darwin Local Court heard on Tuesday Kerinauia had already been due to face court on April 13 over ‘an allegation of an aggravated assault involving a bladed weapon’, the NT News reported.
Police will allege the 19-year-old was in a blue 2014 Toyota Camry when it pulled up at the Jingili bottle shop just before closing time on Sunday night.
Crown prosecutor Marty Aust asked for the case to be relisted with Kerinauia’s other charges.
Kerinauia was remanded in custody and no application for bail was made.
He will next face court on May 24.
Friends have rallied around both of Mr Laverty’s parents with online fundraisers set up to help with funeral costs.
Declan Laverty (left) was allegedly stabbed while working at a BWS drive-thru in Darwin. He was planning to soon return to Cairns to visit mum Samara (middle) and sister Bridget (right)