GRIFFITH’S Kay Catanzariti broke down as she revealed she doesn’t know if she has the strength to continue her bid for justice for her son.
“I feel like I’ve been mentally raped but I don’t want people who have been raped and abused to think I’m being disrespectful to them,” Mrs Catanzariti said.
“The reason that I use that term is because that would be unimaginable.”
In Canberra on Monday prosecutors dropped all charges against a maintenance company over the death of Mrs Catanzariti’s son Ben.
The 21-year-old was crushed when a 39-metre concrete pouring boom collapsed on top of him at a Canberra building site in 2012.
Mrs Catanzariti arrived at court wearing the jumper he was wearing when he died and she carried his ashes.
Members of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union formed a guard of honour as she walked into court. Mrs Catanzariti revealed the deep shock and anger she felt as the charges were withdrawn.
“I was a little bit emotional in there because I had his ashes on my lap,” Mrs Catanzariti said.
“To top it off the defence asked for expenses and that was granted so the taxpayers have now paid for the defence’s expenses. For that I would like to apologise to Australian taxpayers.”
The charges were dropped after a report was submitted that alleged the failure of the bolts was not due to incorrect tightening.
The prosecution originally alleged the bolts on the pump had been serviced by Schwing Australia and had been incorrectly tightened.
“Today I have learned that our pursuit for justice for Ben has been shattered," Mrs Catanzariti said.
“I fear for the future of his hi-vis workers’ safety who are the backbone of this great country. They are real people too.”
Mrs Catanzariti said she hoped the Coronial inquest into her son’s death would be swift.
She said her family felt abused by the process.
Mrs Catanzariti also shared her sadness at some of her son’s missing items.
“Our son’s gold chain and cross has never been returned to us,” she said.
Mrs Catanzariti said her family had been left out of pocket to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs.
“If the system does not change, I fear there will be more deaths on worksites that should have been prevented,” she said.
“To all construction workers, engineers, truckers and nurses across Australia – don’t take short cuts.
“Think what may happen. Look out for your workmates. Ask questions if you are unsure. Be safe and take care.
“Tell your mum you love them as Ben did every day.”
Mrs Catanzariti said she was drained but wanted justice for her son.
“The only hope I have left now is in Barnaby Joyce and Brendan O’Connor to keep their promise for a Senate Inquiry from affected families’ point of view.
“I plead with the government who is in power after the election to help us.
“Please, somebody needs to help.”