Could you forgive your son for this fatal choice? A devastated mother speaks out. 486



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The Little family: Damien and Melissa, with their sons Koda and Hunter. VIA The Australian.

Sue Little, the distraught mother of Damien Little, has spoken about her son’s murder-suicide which has devastated South Australians this week. Mrs Little talked about her son’s desire to be “perfect” and discussed how she had previously tried to help.

When 33-year-old Damien Little drove himself and his two sons over a wharf in Port Lincoln, he left the local community and his family in shock. His son Koda was aged four, whilst baby Hunter was just nine months. Damien was in the midst of a separation from his wife, Melissa.

According to Sue Little, her son Damien only ever wanted to be a “perfect” husband and father to Melissa, his high-school sweetheart. However, over the past three years Sue had noticed a change in her son. He seemed to enter a “dark space”, she told newspapers.

Sue reached out to her son, urging him to seek professional support. She said, “when we saw (a change in Damien) the whole family tried to help him. He had a lot of people offering help. We tried to help him, we all did. But you can’t help somebody who can’t help himself”.

“(Damien) was very particular about everything he did”, Sue added. “I think he wanted to be perfect — he wanted to be a perfect father and husband. He wanted to do everything right. He was very hard on himself. He wanted to live a perfect life”.

Sue and her husband Ken, aged 58 and 67 respectively, are grief-stricken by this fatal turn of events. They told newspapers, “(Damien) obviously wasn’t himself that day. No one will ever know why he did it”.

However, the parents are standing by Damien’s memory. “He is our son and we loved him dearly. He was a beautiful kid, loving, caring. We are just broken”.

Men who need extra support are being urged to contact Beyond Blue or The Black Dog Institute. These non-for-profit organisations can offer free counselling and important resources, for our young men in need.

Certainly, as communities and families we need to do everything possible to ensure this tragic set of circumstances is not repeated. Our hearts go out to the Little family.

How do you stand by your son in times of need? Have you ever reached out to the young men in your family or community?

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  1. While I feel sorry for this man’s parents, he murdered his 2 young children, and like the coward he is, he killed himself in order to escape any justice for these children. We hear it time and time again, people killing their children and they are mainly men in order to punish their partners.

    26 REPLY
    • sad but he took his treasures with him ,yes that is wrong but untill we correct the cause , the problem is still there

    • He killed himself because he was suffering. .in a very dark place..NOT to escape justice & there’s plently of women that have killed their kids.

      1 REPLY
      • You are so right Judith, but unfortunately there are still so many who have little understanding of mental illness.

    • He was not s coward…mentally ill with no control of his mind or actions..a terrible tragedy which could happen in any family..

      1 REPLY
      • I whole heartedly agree. He was in a dark place & there was no escape for him. His parents grief must be enormous.

    • if you have never had depression you have no idea of what was going through his mind very sad for the rest of the family

    • Taking the children was a total act of violence he may have been in a dark place but he was clear enough to make the decision of killing the children. Why no just go and kill yourself why did he make the decision to kill those children. I would say to punish the mother so no I wouldn’t stand by him. The dark place is an excuse

    • As a past sufferer of severe depression and have been in the position of about to jump to end it, where your mind is fighting you to the point you have no strength left to beat it…… It’s beyond your control when it takes you over.
      He didn’t want to hurt his children…..the illness wanted to take him and the kids out.

      You don’t just get up in the morning with a smile on your face and think “today I’ll kill myself and my kids”

      You have NO IDEA what it’s like!

    • Judith! Clear or not! He could have sort help for his illness! And it was HIS illness! But he choose to kill two innocent children! He knew what he was doing !The sadest thing was he got no help!and two children payed with their lives!

      1 REPLY
      • So what exactly is you are trying to say Mary or who is it you are trying to blame. He should have got help for himself or blaming people for not helping him when they possibly didn’t know of his problems. It is so sad that issues inside some people’s minds put them in this position and even more sad than so few of us have little understanding.

        1 REPLY
        • There is something that can be done & that is if someone can notice something is wrong have them scheduled to be assessed at a mental health service, & proper medication can be given. Those with symptoms of depression (or in a dark place) can be helped. This can be done legally through the Mental Health Act 2007.
          The person thinks they are doing the right thing, or in some cases being persecuted. So don’t judge until you are faced with the same experience. Prevention is always better than a cure.

    • Cameron Norman yes I to know of that dark horrid vortex and depression but as mentioned in the article his family did try to get him to seek help or at the very least he should have been watched. When I was in my dark moments the people around me saw it it was through them that I was able to see that I really needed help which I did get. Besides we are all just speculating about WHY he did it. I’m sorry but I still think that taking the children was violence

    • You, yes you, you have a problem, presuming this person was suffering from depression they have no way of controlling what is taking hold of whats happening in their brain, yes in the eyes of the law its murder and in the eyes of those that have never suffered you may see it as a cowards way out, don’t prejudge just hope the hell it never strikes YOU

    • mental illness is a terrible thing. Whilst this is a horrible tragedy he clearly was not himself when this happened. If only he had listened to his parents and sought help.


      FARRK ME!!! No I don’t agree with the children…..but you have no control over your actions!

      Do some bloody research before you comment.

      Hope to God the black dog doesn’t visit you or your family!

      2 REPLY
      • I agree with you Cameron – my mother suicided when she was 53, and I had just moved to Australia with my husband. She had a long history of depression, and several suicide attempts. She used to tell me that I had no idea how she felt, and how hard it was to even get out of bed sometimes. I thought she was decidedly weird, but any mental illness was such a taboo subject then, 53 years ago. I just realised that she’s been dead for as long as she was alive. Anyway, I inherited it, and Bi-polar had just been decided on as a legitimate mental illness, and there I was. I tried every medication under the sun, and then a wonderful woman GP went slowly with me, and in the end found quite an old medication that worked, and still does, for me. I attempted suicide too, but didn’t really know how to do it, (my mother had a very grisly end, Bless the poor woman), so never quite went far enough. As I get older the depression seems to be going away (I’m 72 in June), but my son suffers from Bi-Polar, and I think the eldest of my 3 grand-daughters is on the way there too. There is NO blame to any act committed when in the depths of despair, and I’m not talking about being terribly sad – I’m talking Apocalyptic feelings for the person concerned. There is no wisdom available to the person themselves, if they don’t seek it. Believe me, the stigma of mental illness is still very, very prevalent – especially for men – it’s not seen as “Manly”, and so many men suffer for most of their lives. Perhaps this poor man didn’t feel he could leave the children alone – and however silly that may sound, he may not be able to have thought of a more sensible thing to do with them than take them with him – which may well seem the best to him. And he may not have gone out to kill himself and them – it may have been an absolute split second decision, with hardly any thought behind it. Please don’t anyone lay blame until you’ve walked in another’s shoes – something it is impossible to do. I would guess that this man had needed help for a long, long time, and got to that instant of utter despair. I hope he is at peace now, and I feel desperately sorry for his children, who didn’t really have a chance to live.

        2 REPLY
        • Thank you Leah Jones. It is such a complex subject which unfortunately still very few understand. Let us hope that this illness spares more of us than it inflicted in the past.

        • Thank you Leah for such an honest, open and understood reply – so many of us have suffered severe depression – which separates one totally from family, friends and reason and I feel for this poor person and his family, without any condemnation.

          1 REPLY
          • Thanks Leah for helping me to have an understanding of what it all means. I feel desperately sorry this has happened. His parents, and partner must be just devastated. Your explanation made sense to me. Thanks.

      • Totally agree with you Cameron. Who are we to judge? Obviously, if the poor bloke had been in the right head space things would doubtless have been very different. Not one of us can speak for this young man and his motives, but I do know that depression can and does make one feel and do things that are totally out of character. At the time one is not aware of and does not recognise the wrong they are doing nor the dire consequences of their actions. It’s a shocking and debilitating situation to find ones self in. Heartfelt condolences to all his loved ones and may they know that not everyone condemns their precious son for what has transpired.

    • Sufferers only see DARKNESS …families & loved ones can try to get them to get help for years without success. Like addiction until they decide to get help nothing positive will happen & sometimes even the ‘best’ help just doesn’t make a difference. The mind is still a great unknown.

    • Cameron Norman I agree with you totally. I too have been in a very dark place & nobody can predict what anyone can do.

    • He refused help, this could have been prevented but he chose to risk getting worse. For that I can’t forgive him

    • Many of us have lost a loved one to suicide and we all live that sentence please think before you go on line and call these people cowards you have no idea what you are talking about it was horrific what this man has done and i hope his wife gets all the help she can

    • I agree with you Libbi, if he wanted to end his life, why take his beautiful children with him, because he would have known that his wife will suffer the rest of her life.

    • I agree with Libbi Elliot.
      Yes, he was in a dark place. But he murdered his two young sons.
      I don’t care if it’s a male or a female. Anyone who murders their children , in my opinion, deserves no sympathy. In fact, I think he should be charged posthumously with their murder.

    • Libbi do you know more than everyone else to come to your conclusion of why he did it. You dont know so you should not make a comment like that. I hope the relatives dont read these pages.

    • Cameron Norman thankyou for your comment your comment is a true statement. And believe me I know what Im talking about it took me with love and support to get my Son to where he is today. The first 10 years were the hardest getting a 25 year old to accept his illness. You can’t fix this in a day a week or three years .it takes time and hard work to get someone especially men to accept whats happening in his mind. If you have never dealt with mental illness you have no right to judge.

      1 REPLY
    • I agree – there is no pity in my heart for this cowardly ‘perfectionist’ who could not face the break down of his marriage – all about control! “You do this to me & I will make you suffer for the rest of your days” – to kill yourself is your decision to kill your innocent babies because you cannot bear the thought of your wife having their love – that is unforgivable!!!

  2. No I could not, why do that to the children….no-one has that right!! I feel sorry for the grandparents and in disbelief their son could do such a thing….

  3. No mention of the lost grandchildren?

    2 REPLY
    • Exactly….. I’m thinking he thought he was so privileged & there lies the problem. I’m wondering on his upbringing. Indulged often cannot cope when adult life happens as it will do. I’ve suffered deep depression & didn’t want to b here. It’s a huge struggle & help out there. I feel it’s an insult to those suffering mental illness & struggle to cope in their everyday lives.

    • I think your being too hard on them , they have just been through the worst nightmare any parents can face, parents just can’t turn off their emotions you love your children unconditionally, you may not accept or condone their actions but you still love them. The interview was about being a mother and may have been cut short, I,m sure she absolutely adored those little angels, I can’t imagine her grief lets give these poor folks a break

  4. Depression can be a terrible illness, all perspective can be lost, he must have been in a very very dark place!😞 It is indeed a tradegy, in that he did not seek professional help, to get through this for all concerned!😞 RIP! To him and the boys!💐

  5. No I could not, he knew he had problems but had no intentions of doing anything about it in anyway. WHY take the children, they had their whole life ahead of them, a VERY SELFISH individual.

  6. Such a very sad tragic story all round. Yes, the poor children, but also the dreadful state of mind the father would have been in. And now the ones left behind. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family. We cannot pass judgement. … it beggers belief, what drove him to do it. Very, very sad

  7. Their son will always be their son no matter what he has done. I feel very sorry for them and the wife who isn’t go to see her boys again. My heart goes out to her.

  8. Mental illness is the silent killer..we need a huge injection of $ to help people understand the effects as well as much more help available for sufferers. This man must of been in a very black & lonely place. May they now fly free. I have no idea how I’d feel or react in this situation or if I could forgive.

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