Saturday , June 22 2024

James Harrison: NSW Health executive describes East Lismore father at centre of murder-suicide as ‘wonderful colleague and beloved friend’

A NSW health executive has described a father who killed himself and his two-year-old son at his home during a planned custody visit a a ‘wonderful colleague’ and ‘beloved friend’. 

James Harrison, 38, a NSW health business analyst and his toddler son Rowan were found dead inside a unit on College Street in East Lismore on the NSW far north coast on Sunday night after police were called to perform a welfare check.

Employees at NSW Health Clinical Excellence Commission received an email on Wednesday, three days after Harrison’s alleged murder-suicide. 

The bodies of James Harrison, 38 (pictured) and his son Rowan were found inside the East Lismore unit

The bodies of James Harrison, 38 (pictured) and his son Rowan were found inside the East Lismore unit

CEC Director of Information Management Andre Jenkins sent an email to all staff on Wednesday morning in which he described Harrison as a 'wonderful colleague' and 'beloved friend' despite NSW police treating his and his son's deaths as a murder-suicide

CEC Director of Information Management Andre Jenkins sent an email to all staff on Wednesday morning in which he described Harrison as a ‘wonderful colleague’ and ‘beloved friend’ despite NSW police treating his and his son’s deaths as a murder-suicide

The email, which was sent by CEC Director of Information Management Andre Jenkins following a morning staff meeting, outlined ‘support services’ available in the wake of Harrison’s death. 

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‘It is with indescribable sadness that I find myself letting you know that James Harrison and his son Rowan died on Sunday,’ Mr Jenkins wrote in the email obtained by The Telegraph. 

‘There are no words to adequately describe the loss of a wonderful colleague and beloved friend.

‘Many of you also shared and [had] memories of Rowan popping up in meetings with his proud dad.’ 

Staff slammed Mr Jenkins’ email as ‘tone-deaf’ as it did not acknowledge that Harrison and his son’s death was being treated as a murder-suicide by NSW police. 

Lismore doctor Dr Sophie Roome with her son Rowan, who was tragically killed in a suspected murder-suicide on Sunday night

Lismore doctor Dr Sophie Roome with her son Rowan, who was tragically killed in a suspected murder-suicide on Sunday night

Health Minister Ryan Park labelled the email as ‘completely unacceptable’ and claimed it caused staff ‘significant distress’.

Mr Park added the email did not reflect the views of NSW Health and was not endorsed or authorised by the department. 

More to come… 

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