Australia $50k fine for Central Coast groundskeeper after autistic man drinks weedkiller from Coke bottle

08:05  30 october  2020
08:05  30 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Charges are laid against a volunteer groundskeeper and the Central Coast Council in NSW after a man with autism drinks a mix of highly toxic A man drank toxic weedkillers left in a bottle in a disabled toilet last year. The NSW Environmental Protection Authority has laid charges against the

Autistic man , 21, nearly dies after drinking WEED KILLER from a Coke bottle he found in public toilets.The survival of a 21-year-old man who accidentally drank a concoction of highly toxic weed killers has been labeled a miracle.Damien Terry, from the NSW Central Coast , began vomiting

Doctors did not expect Damien Terry to survive. (Supplied: Damien Terry) © Provided by ABC Health Doctors did not expect Damien Terry to survive. (Supplied: Damien Terry)

A volunteer groundskeeper has been fined nearly $50,000 after a man with autism drank a mix of highly toxic weedkillers that were left in a drink bottle.

Damien Terry, 24, was given 12 hours to live but recovered after two weeks in Gosford Hospital, on the New South Wales Central Coast, in 2017.

He drank a cocktail of paraquat and diquat from a Coca-Cola bottle he found in a disabled toilet at a Mangrove Mountain sports oval.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority took legal action, separately, against the Central Coast Council and volunteer groundskeeper Wayne McInnes.

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The charges related to the unlawful storage of pesticides, carrying maximum penalties of $120,000 for a corporation and $60,000 for an individual.

The proceedings against the council are pending, but .

Julie Terry told the court that Coca-Cola had been one her son's favourite beverages.

"If the family had visitors the family had to guard their drinks, as Damien was prone to drinking them if they had Coke in them," she said.

Ms Terry told the court that her son would have had no conception that a Coke bottle could contain anything other than Coke.

'People don't survive'

When they arrived at the hospital Mr Terry's family was told the substance he had ingested was lethal.

"People don't survive from ingesting it," a doctor said at the time.

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"It takes 10-14 millilitres to kill an adult."

The court heard that blood tests were performed and fluids administered.

Mr Terry's family was then informed that there was no antidote for poisoning by this pesticide.

A dialysis machine was placed outside his ICU room because the doctors anticipated complete kidney failure.

But against all odds, Mr Terry survived.

'I'm sorry'

In his submission to the court Mr McInnes apologised to Mr Terry and his family.

"First and foremost I would like to say to Damien and his family how sorry I am for this terrible incident," he said.

"I understand that it has impacted severely on everyone's life and it should not have happened.

"The experience has also left me devastated.

"While I believe everyone involved made mistakes, mine was not disposing of the Coke bottle with the pesticide in it immediately and I have been kicking myself for the last three years.

"I have learned that I should never take the risk of putting chemicals into unauthorised containers.

"Since the accident I have cleared out the chemicals from my own workshop."

Mr McInnes told the court he had stepped down from his role.

Mum welcomes sentence

Ms Terry said she believed it was an appropriate sentence.

She said her son was back to his "happy, lovable self", but whether his health would suffer in the long term remained to be seen.

"The money is reasonable in the circumstances," Ms Terry said.

"You don't get over something like that very quickly, and we're actually in the fortunate position that our son is alive."

Australian staples such as TimTams, Milo and VB are foreign-owned .
Iconic Australian food and drinks such as Tim Tam (pictured), Milo, Golden Gaytime, Victoria Bitter and XXXX are all owned by foreign companies. Many of Australia's confectionary products and ice creams are owned by multinational companies in Europe and the US. Australian beers are still brewed on home ground but are owned by Japanese breweries like Asahi and Kirin, or Belgian firm Anheuser-Busch InBev. © Provided by Daily Mail Milo (pictured) is owned by Swiss multinational conglomerate Nestlé, which is headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland.

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