Devastated friends of a young clerk who was beaten and killed by a car just days after her relationship with an older magistrate was exposed, have been abandoned by her sudden and tragic death.
Ashleigh Petrie, 23, was engaged to grandfather of eight Rod Higgins, 68, after a romantic trip to Fiji in September.
Mrs. Petrie was tragically murdered on Monday morning after a night out in Victoria.
Her sudden death has shocked court staff, who have received advice, while her friends and family – as well as strangers – have flocked to her Facebook page to express their condolences.
& # 39; Sad, so sad. Young life aborted. You clearly had a lot of support in this difficult time. It is a pity that they have not expressed their support before. Feel for her partner, & someone said. REST IN PEACE.
Another wrote: & # 39; Ashleigh – I didn't know you but heard about you in recent weeks. I'm so sad, so destroyed. My thoughts with your family and friends. I know the angels in heaven will give you those special hugs. & # 39;
& # 39; Tragic end. Poor girl. Sympathy for all her friends and family, & said a third.
Ashleigh Petrie, 23, was engaged to grandfather of eight Rod Higgins, 68, after a romantic trip to Fiji in September. She died tragically on Monday morning
Rod-to-eight grandfather Rod Higgins introduced to Ashleigh Petrie (pictured together), from Mirboo North in Victoria, on a romantic trip to Fiji in September
Her sudden death has shocked court staff, who have received advice, while her friends and family – as well as strangers – have gone to her Facebook page in large numbers to express their condolences.
Romance made headlines throughout the country and called on the legal guard dog to investigate the correctness of the relationship.
Police confirmed that a young woman was struck by a vehicle on Metung Road at Lakes Entrance in eastern Victoria on Monday morning at 1 AM.
Investigations are continuing.
A friend of the family, who spoke about anonymity, told Daily Mail Australia that Mrs. Petrie's family was deeply in shock.
The source said that Mrs. Petrie's family remained in the dark about what happened to her until 13 hours after her death.
& # 39; (They) were still trying to confirm whether it was true or not, & # 39; said the source.
It is understood that the family is still struggling to figure out how Mrs. Petrie ended up dead on Metung Road.
Chief Magistrate Peter Lauristen has released a statement stating that the court's thoughts were with Mrs. Petrie's family.
& # 39; It is with great regret that we advise that an officer of the Victoria Court, Ashleigh Petrie, have died as a result of an accident with a motor vehicle early this morning, & # 39; he wrote in a statement.
& # 39; The details are still within reach. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues in this difficult time.
& # 39; Court officials and staff are supported and appropriate advisory and support services are provided. No further comments are made at this time. & # 39;
Mrs. Petrie, who was reportedly on leave when her relationship was unveiled earlier this month by the Herald Sun, posted a photo on Instagram yesterday enjoying a drink at the Metung Hotel.
Court officials in all jurisdictions are said to have been destroyed by the news of Mrs. Petrie's premature death.
Ashleigh Petrie & # 39; s latest post on Instragram. She stated that she had been to Metung – posted a peaceful photo of her view. She would be dead hours later.
Mrs. Petrie posted this photo on Instagram a few days before her death
Latrobe Valley Magistrates & Court, where the couple were located, canceled hearings today when staff caught the tragedy.
& # 39; It has shocked the court community. We are all upset and the staff have received advice & # 39 ;, a court official told Daily Mail Australia.
Mrs. Petrie was under extreme pressure after the news of her engagement with Mr. Higgins, who uses the name Rod Rocketman on Facebook.
The court has been contacted for comments about Mrs. Petrie's sudden death.
Victoria & # 39; s Attorney General Jill Hennessy said their relationship did not break any rules – but shadow attorney general Ed O'& # 39; Donohue demanded an investigation as to whether the couple's relationship was appropriate given their respective role in court.
Shadow Attorney General Ed O & # 39; Donohue has demanded an investigation into the relationship between Miss Petrie (photo) and Rod Higgins
O & # 39; Donohue had written the Victoria Judicial Commission to request an investigation into Mr. Higgins.
According to the Herald Sun., he mentioned the relationship with Mrs. Petrie as a reason to investigate – although the couple did not cooperate.
Before she met Mr. Higgins started, Miss Petrie reportedly had a short relationship with another magistrate who was 59.
The affair lasted just over a month before Miss Petrie officially started dating Higgins earlier this year.
Miss Petrie admitted the relationship with the Herald Sun, but declined to comment.
Ashleigh Petrie, said yes to grandfather-of-eight Rod Higgins (pictured together) when he proposed during a trip to Fiji last month
Miss Petrie is depicted with her current beauty, Mr. Higgins, who introduced her to her after a whirlwind of romance last month
Mr. Higgins and Miss Petrie lived together in Mirboo North, four hours from Shepparton in northern Victoria.
Last month he brought her to Fiji, where he saved the question.
The servant accepted excitedly and called him & # 39; the love of her life & # 39; in a smashing Facebook post where she showed photos of her sparkling new ring.
The relationship was announced to Peter Lauritsen, the chief magistrate of Victoria, after many lawyers raised their eyebrows about the unusual settlement.
At the time, a spokesperson for Mr Lauritsen said: & # 39; The chief magistrate has no comment on the personal lives of magistrates or staff. & # 39;
Love is in the air: a 68-year-old magistrate and a 23-year-old clerk (photo) are engaged
Last month and Mr. Higgins suggested during a romantic vacation in Fiji. Pictured: The couple on vacation
Magistrate Rodney Higgins introduced his girlfriend Ashleigh Petrie, 23, in September. She is shown on the right and left with her ring
Miss Petrie announced her engagement to the father of three while she was still in Fiji.
& # 39; What a great 10 days it has been here in Fiji! First of all, I arrived as Rod & # 39; s girlfriend and I leave as Rod Fiancee! I can't wait to become Mrs. Higgins! & # 39; she wrote online.
& # 39; It started with an eye and now I have a ring on my finger. The love of my life asked me to marry him and I said YESSSS. & # 39;
& # 39; I don't know how lucky I was to find such a sweet and caring man with the same sense of humor, this wonderful man is the love of my life! & # 39;
During their journey, the couple went zip lining, met a Fiji tribe and swam together in the sea, according to their many social media messages.
A source told the Herald Sun that Mrs. Petrie and Mr. Higgins had tried a baby.
The relationship was announced to Peter Lauritsen, the chief magistrate of Victoria, after many lawyers raised their eyebrows about the unusual settlement. Pictured: the couple on the beach
Miss Petrie accepted excitedly and called him & # 39; the love of her life & # 39; after he introduced her. The couple is pictured together
Mrs. Petrie's death came after a lawyer at the Coroner & # 39; s Court in Victoria lost her life in September 2018.
WorkSafe launched a study in February of the alleged & # 39; toxic culture & # 39; from the court.
Two magistrates had also taken their own lives recently: Stephen Myall committed suicide in early 2018, while former magistrate Jacinta Dwyer died in October 2017.
& # 39; I would be surprised WorkSafe would not look at it on the back of the coroner murder and two magistrates, & # 39; a source told Daily Mail Australia. & # 39; You begin to think what it takes to do something and change the culture. & # 39;
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