Unbelief was shown that the man who claimed he wanted to exorcise mum of bad magic during a disasterous sea voyage actually intended to drown her, even though there is clear evidence to support his claim.
Victorian coroner Audrey Jamieson found on Monday that Adrian Meneveau, 56, ‘contributed’ to the death of his vulnerable mother Felicity Loveday, 83, when he left Frankston with her for a three-day boat trip on Port Phillip Bay on December 11, 2019.
The boat they capsized and the life jackets that they wore as they left for work were discovered four days later.
This is the last photo of Adrian Meneveau and his mother Felicity Loveday (right) as they headed off on a boating trip on December 11 2019. Christina, her daughter took the photo
Adrian Meneveau (56), and Felicity Loveday (83), haven’t been back since December 2019, when they went on a three-day boating vacation.
The photo was a speculation that showed Ms Loveday already deceased in the foreground of the small boat. It led to comparisons to the Hollywood film ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’, in which a pair pretends their murdered boss Bernie is still in life.
Judge Jamieson said the pair believed Ms Loveday had conjured up ‘bad magic’ through her interest in Buddhist mysticism.
Christina was told by her brother, who also shared in his mother’s love for the dark arts. Christina said that her son hoped to break the spell and go on three days out into the bay with his sister.
Ms. Loveday was a former “worshipful master” at Co-Freemasonry, a notoriously secretive fraternal organization.
The most powerful Masonic Lodge official at Co-Freemasonry is the worshipful master. This branch of Freemasonry has religious roots and admits men as well as women.
The pair claimed they had previously reversed bad magic with a voyage over the Dead Sea – a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
‘The only way to put the bad magic to sleep was to be out on the salt water,’ Mr Meneveau told his sister.
According to the court, Mr Meneveau was a faithful follower of his mother’s faiths while caring for her seven-year-old daughter full time.
Ms. Loveday suffered from dementia and a stroke in 2018.
Mr Meneveau purchased a boat which he registered in his sister’s names and was insured.
They were never going to be able to keep the small craft afloat for more than three days on wild waters.
A court was told that Mr Meneveau recently purchased a grave, had already paid rent, and gave his sister his bank credentials and online passwords. Additionally, he created a document that looked like a will.
He had made no mention of suicidal thoughts in the days and weeks leading up to the voyage.
However, he was prone to depression and anxiety.
Four days later emergency crews found the boat, which was discovered by a fisherman 24km north of where it disappeared.
Christina Meneveau (pictured) was the last one to see her loved ones from the wharf
Chris Obst, Detective said that searches were made for the’sea burial’ on the computer of Mr Meneveau in the days preceding the disappearance.
Ms Meneveau helped her mother to the boat, and she saw them go.
The brother of her sent a text message later that afternoon to inform her all was well. She was never heard again.
Two days later, Ms Meneveau reported that they were missing.
Despite evidence appearing to indicate a murder suicide, Judge Jamieson refused to conclude it was not a simple case of misadventure.
She stated that while the evidence is strong in support of the conclusion (Mr Meneveau died near Port Phillip Bay), the evidence doesn’t allow me to pinpoint the exact day or place.
The evidence suggests that both the pair were carrying personal flotation devices that were visible when they left Frankston, and that these were also found in the wreckage.
Judge Jamieson further found she could not conclude Mr Meneveau removed his own life jacket or his mum’s.
“However, evidence suggests that Felicity Loveday might not have been capable of removing her personal flotation device due to physical limitations and mental health issues, she stated.
According to the coroner, it is still unknown how they managed to get rid of their life jackets.
Instead, she found only that Mr Meneveau ‘contributed’ to his mother’s death by taking her out onto the bay in a vessel not fit for purpose.
Adrian Meneveau (pictured) bought a boat, which he registered in his sister’s names and was insured.
Felicity Loveday (centre) with members of the Southport Co-Freemasonry lodge
Detective Obst had told the coroner he was immediately suspicious about the circumstances of the voyage and believed there were pieces of the story he will never know.
“It was not the delay in reporting, but Felicity, who is 83 and frail and believed she would be OK aboard a vessel on Port Phillip Bay for three days,” he stated.
“It is clear that the vessel would have been destroyed if it was not located between December 11 and 15, when it was found.”
The photo that was taken during their departure also frightened him.
It depicted Ms Loveday in the front while Mr Meneveau handled supplies in the rear.
He said it was rare that an emergency response team could have taken a photograph of the boat on the last day.
According to the inquest, Ms. Meneveau filed a claim against the policy of insurance in January 2013 and was compensated the insured value.
Det Obst stated that Ms. Meneveau was very much a matter of fact and philosophical about the disappearance of her family and thought they were dead.
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