Mum Linda Smart’s agony at son Ashley’s fatal $1000 Liquorland vodka binge in Footscray, Melbourne
A heartbroken mother has revealed how her son drank himself to death in a deadly binge after staff at a local bottle shop continued to sell him gallons of alcohol.
Ashley Smart died at home alone, with his body undiscovered for days, after drinking 11 bottles of vodka in 10 days and 25 bottles in a month.
Now his devastated mother Linda Smart is demanding a change in the law to prevent a repeat of her family’s trauma.
Bank statements showed how Mr Smart repeatedly returned to the same Liquorland store in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray to buy two bottles of vodka at once.
His mother confronted him at his house the last time she saw him.
Heartbroken mum Linda Smart has revealed how her son Ashley (pictured together) drank herself to death during a deadly binge
‘He was very drunk. He came home with a bottle,” she said ABC is 7:30 a.m.
“I said to him, ‘Ashley, why? Why did you buy it?’ And he says, “Mom, they’re selling it to me. They don’t care.”
“I left him around 4:30 am. At six in the evening he turned off his computer and never woke up again.’
Bank statements from Ashley Smart showing numerous transactions at his local bottle shop
His mother found his lifeless body four days later, after he missed his grandfather’s funeral.
“He hadn’t contacted me,” she said.
“I had my father’s funeral on Thursday and on Friday I rushed to Ashley’s house because I was worried.
“He was there for four days and I couldn’t stay with him. I always promised I would, but I couldn’t stay with him in that condition.’
Ms. Smart claims that the staff at the local bottle shop had continued to sell him the non-stop supply of vodka, despite him often being drunk at the time.
“He was never refused to drink alcohol,” she said.
Until the day he died – he bought a bottle the day he died and it was served.
“I often saw him selling alcohol while I was drunk and I couldn’t step in and ask them to stop selling.
“It breaks my heart.”
Ashley Smart (right) died alone at home and went undetected for days after drinking 11 bottles of vodka in 10 days and 25 bottles in a month, following an epic drinking binge
Bank statements reveal how Ashley Smart repeatedly returned to the same Melbourne Liquorland store in Footscray to buy two bottles of vodka at once
Sarah Jackson of Alcohol Change Victoria has called for a ban on the sale of alcohol to alcoholics.
“We believe that legislation should introduce a duty of care so that a licensee should take reasonable steps to avoid harm to its customers,” she said.
Ms. Smart added: “We have this huge drinking culture, just like America has the gun culture, but we don’t see it the same.
“We’re not willing to change at all, we’re not willing to put down our beer or vodka because there’s too much money involved.”
Linda Smart claims that the staff at the local bottle shop had continued to sell him the non-stop supply of vodka, despite often being drunk at the time
Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission said it was “best practice” for an inspector to witness a sale to a drunk customer.
Ms Smart was told they had watched CCTV silent footage of Mr Smart’s last purchase in January 2021 but he did not appear intoxicated at the time of the sale.
A statement from VGCCC chairman Fran Thomson added: “We were unable to determine a violation of the law based on the available evidence.
‘Amending the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 is a matter for the government.
“We recognize that this is a tragic coincidence and we extend our deepest condolences to Ms. Smart and her family.”
Mother Linda Smart found the lifeless body of her son Ashley Smart four days later, after he missed his grandfather’s funeral
Coles Liquor, owner of Liquorland, said the staff had acted responsibly.
“All of our store team members receive industry-leading training in responsible serving of alcohol,” a spokesperson said.
“We have robust and comprehensive processes and procedures to ensure alcohol is sold responsibly and team members undergo extensive safety and refusal of service training.”
An investigation was launched last October into the death of a 49-year-old NSW man who allegedly spent $24,000 on liquor with alcohol delivery service Jimmy Brings over a three-year period.
Despite daily orders in the weeks leading up to his death, the probe found no laws had been broken.