A FORMER colleague of deceased Ballarat lawyer Ian Hankin has launched a spirited defence of his friend.
John Twomey, a close friend and executor of Mr Hankin’s estate, said speculation about the death of Mr Hankin in metropolitan media was inaccurate.
Although it was revealed that Mr Hankin had suffered depression for 25 years, Mr Twomey said a psychiatrist’s reports showed that Mr Hankin suffered from blackouts.
Mr Hankin died on August 8 this year when the car he was driving collided head-on with a truck on the Western Highway at Beaufort.
Three weeks earlier, a car he was driving collided with another truck on the Midland Highway at Scotsburn. Speaking yesterday, Mr Twomey said the family was still referring to both crashes as accidents.
He also reiterated how there was no correlation between Mr Hankin’s death and the collapse of Banksia Securities, of which Mr Hankin was chairman until March 2009.
Mr Hankin had been treated for depression at a clinic in Geelong this year. He was released in June.
“The professor of psychiatry that was treating Ian assured his family that they were not treating that as a suicide attempt.
“They were concerned that Ian was suffering from blackouts and they had made arrangements for him to visit a seizure clinic and to have an MRI,” Mr Twomey told ABC Radio.
“The fatal accident that occurred is still the subject of a coroner’s report, police have provided information to the coroner and that’s why we’re referring to it as an accident.
“The last thing Ian’s family wanted was to have to provide details of his medical history, but it appears we have no option other than to do that in defence of his reputation.”