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A father grieves - Ray Heath speaks about Trevor
In an exclusive interview with Ray Heath, father of Trevor Heath, he speaks out about his son's life and family.

Q. Just for the record, what is your relationship to Trevor Heath?

I am Trevor's father. My late wife, Marion, and I adopted him from birth.

Q. Trevor was believed to have suffered from a condition known as ADD (attention deficit disorder), can you tell us more about that and how it affected him as a child?

In comparison with other children, he was late in learning to walk and talk and had quite a few problems at the schools he attended. Marion was a very good mother but bringing up an ADD (attention deficit disorder) child is not easy - we never knew that this is what Trevor had. I only found out about the history of his birth family having ADD the day before his funeral when his birth mother told us. Trevor was never actually diagnosed with ADD but I now think he was ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder); in fact the only diagnosis that I can remember was one of deep-seated epilepsy. Whatever he had, schooling was very difficult for him and he was expelled from every one he attended except a special military school in Christchurch, which was run on almost military lines.

Q. Trevor used to help with the disabled camps you helped start, how did this come about?

The year he was born I became a founder member of the Paraplegic Association and a couple of years later we started organizing Annual Holiday Camps at Otaki for disabled people all over New Zealand. My whole family used to attend for about eleven years and as he grew up, Trevor, developed an affinity with a number of quite severely disabled people. In fact, the first year I didn't attend the camp, Trevor insisted on going as a helper saying he'd never had a birthday at home and he didn't want to start now!

Q. Could you tell us some father's memories you have of Trevor as a child?

I have fond memories of Trevor. He was a real joy as a baby, he rarely cried and never kept us awake at night. When he was about 2 years old we invited a paraplegic to Christmas dinner and spent the whole time he was there quietly playing with the spokes of his wheelchair. I think he was about 10 when he had a family holiday in Rarotonga and every morning Trevor would be up first and out with the 'boys' climbing palms to cut coconuts, 30 or 40 feet up.

Q. How did Trevor cope with the fact that he was adopted and did he have a good relationship with his birth family?

From an early age Trevor was told that he was adopted and when he turned 18 he traced his birth mother and brothers. The night he first met them he couldn't stop talking about them, but as he left to go to bed, the last thing he said was 'Hey, I'm glad you got me'.
Coincidentally, I believe he first met Mat, his birth-brother, at Naenae College but didn't know they were brothers, in fact I think they had quite a few fights and actively disliked each other. Apparently they later teamed-up in the Rangipo correctional training unit, became best mates and formed the best squad in camp. I think he liked all his brothers and had Aaron working for him last year.

Some time after meeting his birth mother he changed his name by deed poll withou
I just wish the media would stop referring to him as Terri King 'also known as' Trevor Heath - as though there was some sinister motive for the change.
t my knowledge. Not that this bothered me, it was his decision and he had his own reasons, I assume. I just wish the media would stop referring to him as Terri King "also know as" Trevor Heath as though there was some sinister motive for the change. I think Terri was his name at birth and prior to meeting his birth mother he idolized her and as young children do used her by saying "my real mother would let me do this or have that". After he found her, I think they got on pretty well and in fact Trevor lived with her for awhile but his fast lifestyle and borrowing meant it was better for him to be living in his own place. Apart from this aspect I think they had a fairly good relationship.

Q. What was Trevor's relationship with his mother like?

In January 1990, Marion, Trevor's mother died of a heart attack. Trevor was very upset, as he loved his mother very much. She had not been well prior to and after Trevor's adoption (she had Lupis Arythamatosis) and in his later years he was very helpful and supportive to her especially in her worst periods.

Q. What was Trevor's best personality trait?

Trevor in his own way liked to help people but he had to do it his own way. He could be quite emotional, especially when someone he liked was in any sort of trouble and he would go out of his way to help them. He was always full of energy and had absolutely no fear of anything. He thrived on strict discipline and from about 16 wanted to join the army.

Q. How were you informed of your son's death?

The first I knew of my son's death was when a detective turned up at my home early on Sunday morning, 27 June 1999, and told me that they had found a body, which had been identified as Trevor by fingerprints, but they could not confirm the cause of death. I cannot explain how I felt at that moment, my son was dead and the pain of that reality was to much to take in. My family and I are still struggling daily with Trevor's sudden death and the anger that someone thought they had the right to take his life and put his family through this. I loved my son dearly and I have spent hours thinking about why this has happened. I acknowledge that he associated with some pretty seedy characters, but, whatever he did, I don't believe he deserved to die the way he did. I would truly like to know who killed him and why and if anyone can provide information that will help to discover this, I would be most appreciative.

I know you wish to thank some people for their support, so we will end the interview with your own words to these people. would like to extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family and our gratitude for sitting down and talking to us so openly.

I would like to close by thanking the people who have given me and my family support over Trevor's death, especially the police for the way they told me about his death and for the ongoing contact they have maintained. Also the many, many people who sent condolences especially the large number of disabled people from all over the country.

Shirley, my wife and I are both very grateful for the assistance and understanding received from my place of work and finally, all those involved in Trevor's memorial.

Next related article: Forward to A Tribute to my brother, Trevor HeathA Tribute to my brother, Trevor Heath
Prev related article: Back to Background to the caseBackground to the case

Back to The Murder Investigation of Trevor Heath - EXCLUSIVE Index

In an exclusive interview with Ray Heath, father of Trevor Heath, he speaks out about his son's life and family.

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