Loss spurs cru­sade

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By KA­T­RINA LIN­TON­BON

Helen Meads’ dad David White is not a great be­liever in hind­sight but, if there’s one thing he wishes he could change, it would be his de­ci­sion not to in­ter­fere in his daugh­ter’s mar­riage.

‘‘ I was told on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, by a num­ber of women, that Helen was in se­ri­ous dan­ger and I needed to get her out. Had a man told me to do it, I prob­a­bly would have lis­tened. It’s some­thing about the male psy­che, men lis­ten to men.’’

Mr White’s words are spo­ken with the bru­tal hon­esty that only comes from some­one who has suf­fered the ul­ti­mate of heart­break in its most rawest form.

This is a griev­ing par­ent who has not only lost a daugh­ter but whose daugh­ter was mur­dered by her hus­band.

Mr White, his wife Pam and their fam­ily are now mem­bers of a club no­body wants to join.

Just af­ter 8am on Wed­nes­day Septem­ber 23 last year, life changed for­ever for the Whites and their fam­ily.

Helen’s hus­band Greg Meads took a loaded shot­gun, con­fronted his wife in the sta­bles at their Mata­mata prop­erty, pressed the bar­rel of the gun into her neck and pulled the trig­ger. Helen, 42, died in­stantly. Mr White said Helen had told her hus­band on the Fri­day prior, that she was no longer happy and hadn’t been for a long time.

Af­ter years of be­ing sub­jected to phys­i­cal and emo­tional abuse, Helen was get­ting ready to leave.

‘‘ She was find­ing hap­pi­ness again, it was a great thing to see,’’ Mr White said.

The truth is the fam­ily never thought Meads was ca­pa­ble of killing Helen.

Mr White said he wasn’t even aware that Meads owned a gun.

‘‘Men who beat their wives are cow­ards be­cause they in­flict pain on their part­ners be­hind closed doors. Never for one sec­ond did I think he would kill her.’’

On that morn­ing, Mr and Mrs White were en­joy­ing a cup of tea when Mrs White saw some­one walk past the win­dow.

‘‘When I saw Sergeant McGurk stand­ing there at the door, he didn’t have to say any­thing, I knew. I don’t re­mem­ber any­thing that was said af­ter that.’’

Mr White still speaks of his daugh­ter as if she is still right by his side.

He knows that it would have been hard for Helen to leave be­cause she only wanted what was best for her chil­dren.

‘‘They stay be­cause they think it’s the right thing to do for the kids.

‘‘There is noth­ing that is fur­ther from the truth.’’

Helen was the epit­ome

of a daddy’s girl – there was noth­ing that she couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about with her dad. ‘‘She told me ev­ery­thing. If some­thing was wrong I would say to her ‘okay girl how are we go­ing to fix this?’

‘‘It is in­de­scrib­able what this does to you and it hurts me to think that I thought she had ev­ery­thing un­der con­trol when she clearly didn’t.’’ Mr White now has a pur­pose. He wants to spread the word about the im­por­tance of men be­ing able to talk to other men about do­mes­tic women.

Helen’s legacy will re­main through her chil­dren Michael, Kimberly and Sa­man­tha and Mr White’s work with White Rib­bon.

Her dad thinks she would proud of what he is do­ing for other women around the coun­try who are the vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. ‘‘Helen is push­ing me to do this, she is still al­ways right here next to me,’’ he said.

Meads will be sen­tenced De­cem­ber 16.




Helen’s legacy:

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